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2021 Philadelphia Film Festival: C'mon C'mon Movie Review

2021 Philadelphia Film Festival: C'mon C'mon Movie Revie
In the latest feature film from director Mike Mills, Joaquin Phoneix follows up his Oscar-winning turn in 2019's "Joker" in an altogether different fashion, turning in a subtle, grounded performance as a rootless man unexpectedly thrust into the role of a father figure. In "C'mon C'mon" the actor plays Johnny, a roving journalist whose peripatetic life is abruptly altered when he is called on to take care of his nephew due to a family emergency. As with his last feature, "20th Century Women," Mills has once again created an intimate film that favors characters and relationships over plot, and allows plenty of room to show how close emotional relationships indelibly change those who are willing to risk connecting to others.

Johnny is on the road with a small audio team on a project to conduct interviews with children across the country on the topic, "What do you think the future will be like?" when he receives a call from his estranged sister Viv (Gabby Hoffman, Transparent) in Los Angeles. Her husband Paul (Scoot McNairy, Halt and Catch Fire) has relocated upstate for work and needs her help to settle in, and she needs Johnny to come watch her young son Jesse (Woody Norman, "The Current War") for a few days.

As Johnny spends time with Jesse at the family's California home, he gets to know the nephew he has not seen since he was a toddler. Jesse is smart and quirky, a funny, creative child whose imagination takes the occasional turn for the macabre, and as the two warm to each other we learn more about the family: Paul suffers from bipolar depression, and Viv's life is a constant balancing act of caring for him and navigating the waves of unpredictable upset while steadfastly raising their son to be as emotionally healthy as possible.

Johnny isn't sure where he fits in exactly but he and Jesse warm up to each other, and before long circumstances evolve that require the pair to head back to Johnny's home in New York, then on to other cities across the country as Johnny resumes his work with Jesse in tow. Again, "C'mon C'mon" isn't really about plot; it's about the relationship that the two build, and about what Johnny learns about love and family and connections through his time as temporary parent to Jesse.

The acting here is uniformly excellent, without a misstep or false note anywhere. Phoenix is both understated and compellingly present as he shows Johnny coming to trust his feelings and instincts while he learns how to relate to Jesse, and the role is a gratifying addition to the actor's already varied and extensive resume. Hoffman, who began acting as a child and has an admirably diverse catalog of her own, has never seemed more at home in a role than she does here as Viv. And in such strong company it is particularly striking that newcomer Woody Norman stands out so effortlessly. His affecting and engaging portrayal of a youngster who thrives despite huge, unpredictable shifts in his small world is reminiscent of Jacob Tremblay's remarkable performance as a captive child in "Room."

"C'mon C'mon" joins the list of Mr. Mills' likewise beautifully crafted previous works - "Thumbsucker" and "Beginners" as well as "20th Century Women." Mills isn't a prolific director, but his intimate, intricate films are a pleasure to watch, and always worth the wait.

2021 Philadelphia Film Festival: C'mon C'mon Movie Revie By Lora Grady

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
2021 Philadelphia Film Festival: C'mon C'mon Movie Review 2021 Philadelphia Film Festival: C'mon C'mon Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Saturday, November 20, 2021 Rating: 5

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