HCAF21: ‘C’mon C’mon’ Review

Mike Mills’ newest directorial effort is an impressive strong examination of city life and familial dynamics.



My last in-person screening at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival was a treat that I will remember forever. First and foremost, I would like to point out and shout out the amazing people at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. MFAH has one of if not the best screen and projector that my eyes have ever graced the opportunity to watch cinema on. It was a match made in cinema heaven to be able to watch this beautiful film in their theater. I was reminded once again why I love the theatrical experience so much and how streaming will never replicate this communal feeling ever. I walked into my first ever Mike Mills film and I can tell you that this has shot up into one of my favorite films of this year.

C’mon C’mon is written and directed by Mike Mills (Beginners, 20th Century Women) and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Gabby Hoffmann, Scoot McNairy, Molly Webster, Jaboukie Young-White, and Woody Norman. The film is exquisitely shot by Robbie Ryan and is being distributed by A24. The film follows Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) as he takes care of Jesse (Woody Norman) because Jesse’s mom, Viv (Gaby Hoffmann), needs to take care of her husband who is in mental distress. We watch a beautiful familial relationship between Johnny and Jesse unfold as they spend more time with each other. Johnny is a podcaster who interviews children about their views about life and the future that awaits them.

C’mon C’mon is beautiful in every sense of the word. Its moments of sweet tenderness brought me to tears as I watched this charming story unfold. Filled with its bright light inside of an atmosphere of uncertainty, we find ourselves changing alongside the protagonists of the film. Mike Mills crafts one of the best films of the year that finds its way into your heart and holds it throughout the runtime. The performances are one of its strongest aspects especially that of the newcomer, Woody Norman. Its musical choices and score help create the atmosphere of the film that keeps your atttention. You are going to want to watch this film that contains one of Joaquin Phoenix’s best performances. I really can’t stop thinking about this magnificent film and hope that you all watch it soon.

Watch C’mon C’mon in theaters.

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