Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Woody Norman, Gaby Hoffman, and Scoot McNairy
Director: Mike Mills
Nothing about C’mon C’mon feels like fiction. At times, it’s like a documentary, but it mostly feels like you’re watching people live their lives. It’s earnest, honest, and surprisingly philosophical. That said, its combination of slow pacing and the black and white colour palette hold it back from some much needed vibrance. Overall, this will be a polarizing film, as I can see people loving it and I can see people frustrated by it. However, the performances by Gaby Hoffman, Woody Norman, and Joaquin Phoenix (in the most natural showing of his career) were enough to keep me engaged throughout.
The enveloping warmth of C’mon C’mon cannot be overstated. Writer/director Mike Mills’ film is one of the year’s very best, imbued with philosophical curiosity, wonder, and deeply human vulnerability. Shot in gorgeous, crisp black and white, it wraps viewers in a warm hug and fills them with meaningful contemplation through terrific performances and a mesmerizing musical score. Joaquin Phoenix is as natural as he has ever been, while Gaby Hoffman is an instant favorite; however, it’s Woody Norman that steals the show, turning in maybe the best child performance I’ve seen in the last decade.
C’mon C’mon is a beautiful film that simply kept me smiling throughout the vast majority of its runtime, and it might be writer/director Mike Mills’ best movie to date. It is very well shot (even if I don’t fully understand why it was shot in black and white), and Joaquin Phoenix is amazing as usual. However, newcomer Woody Norman really steals the show, and the bond between him and Phoenix, paired with Mills’ soulful look at life, is easily what makes this movie as sweet as it is. I would seriously recommend this movie to anybody.