C’mon C’mon is a truly beautiful film. Mike Mills directs with such passion, such joy that every moment touches you to your core.
There are so many ways this could have easily ended up as just another formulaic family centric affair. But it’s just so heartfelt that in almost every scene it’s trying to make sense of the happy, sad, shifting life we all live in. There are no great epiphanies at the end of the road within, just a lot of quiet conversations, some friendly and some rather fulled, between an uncle and nephew as they try to figure out their place in world. That, for me, is what makes C’mon C’mon as pleasurable as it is. It’s calm, melodic tone works extremely well, developing the Uncle and Nephew’s relationship and showing you just how much both were impacted by their time together.
Once again Joaquin Phoenix puts in an Oscar calibre performance. The scenes he shares with Woody Norman are remarkable, but the scenes he spends interviewing young adults about the future are just as good. Hearing the perspectives of younger generations are heartwarming while soul crushing and each individual answer was incredible. Alongside him, 12 year old Woody Norman proves that he’s an absolute star. His acting is stunning, he controls the screen alongside Phoenix which truly amazed me and, for me, deserves at least a support actor nomination despite his young age. There’s a subtlety to Phoenix’s leading man performance that is tender, knowing, and quite moving, and Norman provides a balance that blends irrational fears and childlike wonder perfectly.
It’s fair to say C’mon C’mon lives up to the hype. A poetic and bittersweet film that asks us to recognise the mistakes we make, the people we wound, the feelings we hurt, and to maybe give ourselves a break in the process. The smooth black and white imagery, simple cinematography and performance are all top class. A24 and Mike Mills, you’ve really impressed me.
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