Title: C’mon C’mon (2021) Director: Mike Mills Writer: Mike Mills Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann, Jaboukie Young-White, Elaine Kagan
This review was written by Le LD Nguyen for FilmMagasinet and translated by Eirik Bull.
This small and beautiful indie C’mon C’mon is the latest feature from American director Mike Mills. He has done plenty of weird and wonderful through a long career, and his work has mostly been in music. Mike Mills is a musician and has been a part of many bands and produced music videos for major artists. Other films he has made include Thumbsucker (2005), Beginners (2010) and 20th Century Women (2016).
C’mon C’mon is a warm, redeeming, and moving film that treats sociopsychological themes such as the mental distance between generations, communication problems, and relational betrayal wisely.
We meet the always phenomenal Joaquin Phoenix as the radio journalist Jimmy, who specializes in interviewing children about their lives, dreams and thoughts about the future. When Jimmy is suddenly charged with the care of his young nephew, whom he has hardly met during his childhood, he soon realizes the important differences between a radio interview and a close and real relationship. It is not easy to find a form and a language when you live on a mental island amidst a career and busy life in the big city, especially when your nephew is a sharp and defiant boy with his own problems.
The story may not be one of the most inventive, but the script is tight and has extremely solid execution at all levels. The black-and-white photo provided by British Robbie Ryan (Fish Tank, Philomena, I, Daniel Blake) gives the film a distinctive and nostalgic cut. Joaquin Phoenix and youngster Woody Norman have an amazing amount of personal chemistry in their roles. The finely tuned dialogue and interaction between the two actors elevate this film to a higher level of quality than we have seen from other films with roughly the same themes and topic.