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Duplass bros.' Cyrus.
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Cyrus Movie Review
Hi, this is Michael of Substream.com. It is a very quick review hopefully with the movie called Cyrus that comes out this Friday. Stars three actors, three very talented actors including John C. Reiley, who may go on to be doing the guy who wins five or six Oscars in his career having one time played in the same drunk doctor on the Cartoon Network, along with the very underappreciated Marisa Tomei and one of the men of the moment, get him to the Greeks, Jonah Hill.
John C. Reiley plays John, a divorcee who’s having a massive trouble breaking under the incredible six-year long rut that his divorce has left in him. He’s charming in the way that people who are ruthlessly relentlessly honest about their own shortcomings are at once completely inept with women. But at the same time, ballsy enough or drunk enough to start a crazy 80’s dance party at a snobby soiree that his ex-wife invites him to. He meets Marisa Tomei’s character and they immediately fall for each other. And then months long relationship is troubled by the presence of Marisa Tomei’s character son Cyrus played by Jonah Hill.
Cyrus and his mother are weirdly close. They’re best friends and they live together and they always have. Then he may or may not be trying to sabotage his mom’s new relationship. It’s that conflict that’s at the funny, creepy, off putting suspense for horrible of Cyrus. Directors brothers Jay and Mark Duplass do a really good job of preserving the low-fi, indie frayed around the edges kind of rough and tumble, ecstatic and sensibility that so then become part of the burgeoning mumble core Indie film movement with their earlier feature puppy chair.
They do a really good job marrying that ecstatic that kind of low budget ecstatic with the bigger budgeted film that stars people – and things that get them to the grieve and step brothers.
The surprise though, the surprise of the film, it’s got people academy award nominees like Catherine Keener and John C. Reiley, and academy award winners like Marisa Tomei. The guy that holds the whole thing together with his performance, that’s the nucleism, the thing is Jonah Hill.
The reason that Cyrus isn’t a film and it's currently being sold out, it's the reason that it’s not some kind of goofy step brothers meet upper town hybrid is that Jonah Hill is able to temper his funniness and use his kind of big awkward presence on screen and his body in scenes to create this weirdly off putting, weirdly funny but kind of strange nonetheless self confidence. It’s a massive self confidence early in the film and it creates because the directors are good enough to use it to create this kind of sense of permeating dread and suspense.
The conflict at the heart of Cyrus which is a funny one is actually a conflict. It feels scary and full of anxiety and tension and suspense which are one of the best things about films when they work. There’s more suspense at the heart of Cyrus which is otherwise kind of a light family goofy comedy starring funny talented actors. Then there is at the heart of killers or the losers or the A-Team or Knight and Day, or any single other one of the big budgeted Hollywood action suspense films that have been released this summer.
Hill is a funny dude but his humor in movies like Cyrus and even in big budget mainstream stuff like Forgetting Sarah Marshall comes from a place that’s entirely new in congruity between his exterior self as big, kind of fat, unshaven, goofy guy who was working on the tradition of big, fat, unshaven, goofy American guys in funny films. But at the same time he's weirdly presupposing and self confident, and knowing, and willing to reach out and grab Russell Brands’ face when he’s kissing a woman and get him to the grid, or willing to hold his own with an actor like John C. Reiley and his intense stare down and threatening grudge match that happens in the center of Cyrus.
He’s got a ballsiness that comedians like him, comedians that have this big off putting, goofy Chris Farley body don’t usually use. And it’s making him into one of the most interesting young funny actors working. And it’s that humor that makes Cyrus work, that in a bunch of other really good things done by bunch of really good actors and some directors that are working to move in a really interesting direction.
Cyrus is one of my favorite films of the year, and I give it a nine or 10.