C’mon C’mon

Written by Taylor Baker


“Blah, blah, blah, blah.”

C’mon C’mon is a loving road movie of uncle and nephew walking side by side, ahead and behind, navigating their familial connection through different metropolises. Joaquin Phoenix plays Johnny, a radio journalist whose current project involves interviewing kids about their concerns, hopes, fears, and lives. In the early portion of the film Johnny calls his sister Viv (Gabby Hoffman) on the anniversary of their mother’s death. And in the course of the call he agrees to come out and take care of his nephew Jesse (Woody Norman) so that she can tend to her husband Paul (Scoot McNairy) who moved to Oakland for a job and suffers from bipolar disorder.

Mills who directed 2010’s Beginners and 2016’s 20th Century Women builds out his newest film on expressly gorgeous cinematography shot by Robbie Ryan. The exterior shots of the various cities visited throughout the film in particular set the place and draw a interesting correlation between the very personal private experiences our characters are having against the congested freeways of LA, the clogged sidewalks of New York, and the urban sprawl of New Orleans. This in tandem with different quotations from various pieces and artists such as Kirsten Johnson (director of Cameraperson) whose quotation is on the differences of experience between the subject and the recorder allude to more meta filmic differences between the form, narrative, and style we’re witnessing coalesce before us maturing to a deep feeling of intimacy that is carefully built up over the run time by Mills.

C’mon C’mon simultaneously broaches on the loss of intimacy over time with family members, the differences of experience of the same events between youth and adult, and the many faces of compassion, love, and devotion. It’s a slow unflashy gorgeous piece of intimacy, that captures the longing and loveliness of the smallest moments in our day to day lives. Mills has been assembling one of the more intriguing if brief bodies of work over the last two decades with little attention, I hope for all our sakes he continues to make films a bit more expediently than once every 5 or 6 years.

C’mon C’mon Trailer

C’mon C’mon is currently available in wide theatrical release.

You can follow more of Taylor’s thoughts on LetterboxdTwitter, and Rotten Tomatoes.

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