Mike Mills directs Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffman and Woody Norman in this road movie where a sensitive uncle looks after his sister’s precocious kid.
Mike Mills is 3 for 3 in terms of directing impactful little movies. His work feels personal yet entertaining. Crafted yet profound. Intimate yet universal. I bet you a red £50 note he’ll never make a Marvel movie. This is essentially a very classy take on Uncle Buck. The cityscape monochrome photography looks as good as Manhatthan did back in 1980. The performances are note perfect, even the child and especially Joaquin who goes from strength to strength every project. Families and communication come to the fore. “Blah blah blah” in a good way. This leans into essayist mode occasionally but that feels somewhat organic, the strongest voices stitched into the patchwork form are the kids being interviewed. Mills makes a hopeful and persuasive case that theirs are the voices that make the most sense to listen to in this world full of noise and opinions. Highly recommended.
Perfect Double Bill: Paper Moon (1973)
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