The Film Starring Joaquin Phoenix is a Story of Growth that Highlights the Importance of Listening to Children. Here we Present our Review of "C'mon C'mon"..
LatinAmerican Post | Yolanda González Madrid
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Leer en español: Review of "C'mon C'mon": Life from the perspective of children
At the time of presenting the nominees for the 2022 Oscar Awards, very few expressed the absence of "C'mon C'mon" among the candidates to win a statuette. Now, after the premiere in several Latin American countries, this film has begun to resonate in a great way among the people who also embarked on this family adventure and that shows us the magical way in which children see life. What is her secret and why should we see her?
The film is written and directed by Mike Mills, an American filmmaker who already has four productions to his credit. For this occasion, he had the contribution of three figures who left pleasant impressions with their roles: Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann and Woody Norman. In addition, a characteristic that does not go unnoticed is that the film is shot in black and white, something that at times reminds us of other great productions such as "Roma" or "Belfast" where, in a certain way, they even show us the past experiences of their directors.
"C'mon C'mon" has a premise that may seem somewhat basic, but behind it there is a moving message that makes us reflect on many things. Johnny (Phoenix) is a radio journalist who embarks on a trip to the south of the country to do a report that involves boys and girls, but with the particularity that for this adventure he must take his 9-year-old nephew Jesse (Norman ), this on the occasion of helping her sister Viv (Hoffmann) while she solves a personal problem.
Based on a story lived by Mills himself, the film is a journey of emotions that leads us to better understand family mechanics and how two figures like uncle and nephew can have more in common than it seems. Its premiere was at the Telluride Film Festival, Colorado, and since then it has been recognized at awards such as the National Board of Review, the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle, or the London Film Critics Circle Awards, as well as nominations for the BAFTA and the Independent Spirit awards.
Of reflections and empathy
At first, it is hard to believe that the man who asks everything, who knows how to listen and who is capable of showing empathy with children, does not really have concrete answers for his own life. That wall that the character of Joaquin Phoenix built for different reasons begins to fade as he relates to his nephew, a boy who is as intelligent as he is hyperactive. Precisely, one of the many reasons why it is worth seeing "C'mon C'mon" is the great chemistry on screen that both actors brought out.
On the other hand, this ingenious drama has certain touches of a documentary, since -ignoring the three protagonists- all the interviewed boys are not actually actors and their answers are spontaneous, something that gives the plot an authenticity and freshness as none other. As the film progresses, we realize that, in fact, we adults are the ones who must grow the same or more than children, and even try to see life from their perspective.
In turn, it is worth mentioning that "C'mon C'mon" has certain similarities with the previous works of Mike Mills. For example, both "Beginners" (2010) and "20th Century Women" (2016) touch on the same theme of generational distances and the way their characters relate despite that age gap. The truth of the matter is that the director continues to rely on some passages of his life to continue bringing projects to the big screen, an inspiration that has undoubtedly been captivating critics and the general public.
In short, we are facing a tender story that goes beyond the family drama. His moments of reflection on life and love take on greater relevance when seen from the perspective of children, who enclose a wonderful world within themselves and that sometimes they cannot express because of adults. Why is it important to see it today? Simply because it is a film that exudes truth and, above all, explores empathy, a concept that should be revalued in Latin America and the rest of the world.