Mike Mills’ latest is a beautifully formed comedy-drama, centering around a household of characters and their lives in the 1970s. It will make you laugh, feel and think, in one of the most underseen gems of the past year.
The (Oscar-nominated) script is the star of the show here. Its unconventional structure, and close examination of its characters makes it stand out from most of what is out at the moment. It really tries to get under its characters skins, yet maintains some form of narrative at the same time, gathering a perfect balance.
Whilst its unusual structure and pacing may seem strange, even uneven or messy to begin with, you soon settle into its offbeat, brilliant rhythms. It pulls you into these characters’ worlds and lives (the 70s itself is big part of the film, almost a character in itself), thanks also, in no small part, to the fantastic array of performances displayed here. From old-hands like Annette Bening, to newcomers like Lucas Jade Zumann, each of the ensemble fully embodies their role, imbuing them with life and a raw emotion that gives the film its genuine feel.
There are moments of serious emotion, but also some great laughs. The tone is handled masterfully, to make sure that the combination of genres and emotions never feels uneven. The dialogue is brilliant, and also covers topics still so often seen as a little taboo in film, making it a real breath of fresh air. It is beautifully shot and incredibly well paced, sweeping you up in its world, a feeling that doesn’t leave you for a while after you have left the cinema.
It may make you think about yourself and your own experiences in a different way. It is absolutely worth your time (and worth more accolades than it is getting). A beautifully crafted examination of relationships and lives between an eclectic group, navigating life’s choppy waters, it is a refreshing treat for anyone who sees it.