C'mon C'mon

C'mon C'mon ★★★★½

Can’t wait to see how this fares on a smaller screen, as so many moments of this feel so intimate that seeing it on the big screen felt intrusive (in the best way). Mike Mills’ decision to go black and white proved worthwhile, it forces you to absorb the images of America in a new lens and places you in a state of ease. It’s the Manhattan to 20th Century Women’s Annie Hall, as it’s a more impressive achievement on a technical level while feeling slightly more forced with its emotions. Mills’ love for Gordon Willis is clear cut, as the classical music blaring through Robbie Ryan’s shots of New York are pure homage, it’s hard not to fall in love simply with the look and sound of it. The Allen/Baumbach influence is prevalent, but it’s more in line with the lighter side of Kenneth Lonergan’s work.

C’mon C’mon
ultimately relies on the bond between Joaquin Phoenix and Woody Norman, who make the uncle-nephew so believable it’s uncanny. There’s acting and then there’s being unable to recognize, and while we all know what Joaquin can do, it’s young Woody that’s shockingly convincing (them English actors I tell you). Joaquin has always had some sort of introverted torment in his characters, but this is as straight forward wholesome as you can ever get, surpassing Walk the Line for his warmest and most “movie star” performance. The story is painfully relatable to me, but Mills never succumbs to grief porn or syrupy sentimentality. While it loses some of its crisp pacing towards the end, I was glued to my seat throughout, and its impact will carry over until my next viewing of it. 

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