*Not much to spoil here…
Johnny is an emotionally stunted and softspoken radio journalist who travels the country interviewing a variety of kids about their thoughts concerning their world and their future. Then Johnny’s saddled with caring for his young nephew Jesse. Jesse brings a new perspective and, as they travel from state to state, effectively turns the emotional tables on Johnny.
“Maybe we can take this process slowly and see how it feels?”
Over the years A24 has created this reputation of being pretentious, or scary, or even flat out weird. However, what you cannot deny is how they continue to just put out quality movie after quality movie. The newest from the studio is Mike Mills C’MON C’MON and it takes on a couple ideas that continue to be more and more prevalent in our society. Things like the bond between family, and the idea of it’s ok to not be ok.
Joaquin Phoenix plays an interviewer, going around the country basically just asking them questions about the world. However, the problem here is the questions he is asking and the answer they are giving are absolutely not answers kids that age would give. I am not a parent yet, but I was a kid, I worked at a child care center, I was a counselor at sleep away summer camp, and now I am an Uncle. So I know a little bit about kids. And the stuff they are discussing in these interviews, is basically everything going on in our world currently about tolerance and acceptance and everything that is important. I just kept being turned off by those scenes because it felt so unnatural. I will say though the main story of the movie had me enraptured.
That main story is just about an Uncle and his nephew and how they can solve their own personal problems together. It is a classic case of two people who did not know they need each other, coming together and making magic. Johnny (Phoenix) takes Jesse all over the country with him and gets to show this kid the world for the first time, but I think seeing the wonder through his eyes, Johnny learns his life is not as perfect as he may seem. and Jesse who’s parents are wrapped up in their own issues gets a chance to outlet his frustrations in a different way. It is a beautiful story that is shot incredibly well, I just wished we focused more on them.
Stock Neutral – Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin is always great, and has the hardware to prove it. But this was a much different role for him, because he usually specializes in the eccentric side of people. Here he is a real person, with real feelings, and it is fun to watch. Because as much as I like him playing wacky characters, it is nice to know he can really do anything.
*A couple other tidbits
- I do not know what is in the water this year but everyone really loves Black and White in movies again!
- I actually enjoyed the Sultry score, it felt natural not forced.
- Gaby Hoffman did her best in a hard role, it is so weird to think this is the same little girl from Field of Dreams.
I like this movie, I definitely do not love it though like a lot seem to. There are many that feel this is the movie of the year, and to me there is way too much pretentiousness here to be that. I think this is a nice story with a good performances, which gives you something to think about as an adult. I do think though it will turn a lot of people off with the some of the conversations it forces.
*You can find my 2021 Movie Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.