There are times where life seems unfair and too hard, and where navigating life’s struggles is a real challenge. Some issues in life may seem unresolvable. There are many of those scenarios in C’mon C’mon as director Mike Mills brings us a black and white film that is brilliant and touching, and relatable to life in so many ways.
Joaquin Phoenix delivers a knockout performance in C’mon C’mon, as does Gabby Hoffmann as his sister and Woody Norman as his nephew. Phoenix plays Johnny, an introverted radio journalist who is close with his sister Viv, played by Hoffman. Viv’s husband Paul, played by Scott McNairy, is having serious problems, and Viv is struggling to care for her son Jesse, played by Norman. To help out, Johnny takes Jesse on a cross country trip that becomes the focus of the film.
Joaquin Phoenix is one of those actors who can play all kinds of characters with interesting personalities and a wide range of emotions. The connections between Johnny and Jesse in C’mon C’mon are heartwarming, and though there are moments of grief and frustration between the two, Phoenix keeps a laid-back persona throughout the film. Mills use of monochromatic cinematography mirrors Phoenix’s persona.
I found C’mon C’mon relatable in many ways, and I loved the film. I believe this was a role for the ages for Phoenix, and his performance will draw Oscar buzz. And C’mon C’mon may be one of the best films yet for Mike Mills, who really knows how to direct films that centers on life issues. Four stars for C’mon C’mon.