Friday 10 September 2010
There are very few films, of whatever type, that actually surprise us, so when one does come along it's tempting to whoop. Cyrus is a sort of skewed comedy-drama by Mark and Jay Duplass (The Puffy Chair), which finds new ways to examine old ideas, such as embarrassment and possessiveness.
John C Reilly plays a lonely fellow named John, who's depressed about his ex-wife (Catherine Keener) getting remarried. Things start to look up when he meets Molly (Marisa Tomei), who seems to find him funny and attractive in spite of his pouchy looks ("I'm Shrek!"). Then he meets the other man in Molly's life, her 21-year-old son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill), an overgrown baby with a disconcerting stare, a manipulative streak and the devoted love of his mother. By degrees it becomes clear that Cyrus doesn't want a new guy in their house, and he begins to sabotage John's relationship by telling lies and faking panic attacks. The brothers Duplass, exponents of a low-budget, indistinct genre called mumblecore, eschew the polish of mainstream film-making and jerk the camera about in faux-amateur style, but it's their attention to ripples of awkward feeling – confusion, uppermost – that set them apart. They also get terrific performances from the lead trio, especially Hill, whose stillness of gaze teeters right on the edge of hostility. In a lesser film the struggle for possession of Molly between son and lover might have tipped right into psychosis, but Cyrus pulls back, preferring to mine the comedy, and perhaps the sadness, of a man-child who can't help himself.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Star Trek 3 to begin shooting in next six months
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Robin Thicke’s hit 'Blurred Lines' lands him in court, and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'