cinema_made’s review published on Letterboxd:
C’mon C’mon portrays what it’s like to be a kid not by drawing conclusions or even by remembering what it was like, but by really listening. The dynamic between Johnny and Jesse is beautifully real, with Phoenix capturing that middle ground between parent and cool friend that only a good aunt or uncle can be, as well as the middle ground between nuisance, joy, responsibility and best friend that only you can only get with a niece or nephew. Mills and his team interview and record real kids with real fears and real feelings, and it’s breathtaking to hear.
After long time, it's refreshing to see Joaquin Phoenix plays a role with eloquence rather through rage, which I love. But Woody Norman, steals the show. His acts of subtle mischief and sumptuous emotional maturity subdues through his role. Everything about C’mon C’mon, from the gorgeous black-and-white cinematography to the editing, is pure perfection. C’mon C’mon still manages to be joyous and life affirming. It’s a great film that serves as a reminder of the importance of being your best self and the effect that we all have on each other, as well as the wisdom to be found in the philosophical mind of a child. C’mon C’mon is empathetic and emotional but never emotionally manipulative. Mills crafts a poignant drama that lets those who are parents may view it differently from those who are not.