Three outstanding acting performances make this moving film in which real-life children share thoughts about their lives in the future an unforgettable experience.
Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) is a radio journalist, travelling the country recording interviews with teenage boys. He listens and encourages them to talk about their perspective of the future.
He has been estranged for a year from his sister Viv (Gaby Hoffman) since the death of their mother who suffered from dementia. In a phone cal,l she asks him to look after her obnoxious nine year old son Jesse (Woody Norman) while she goes to care for her estranged husband, struggling with a mental illness.
Johnny, single, has never had to deal full time with children. There are many moments of frustration and helplessness, but over time, with patience, and many phone calls to his sister for advice, he manages to bond with his nephew and renew his family relationship.
The film explores the ideas that adults forget how children’s minds work – their need for attention, curiosity, and thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. It is a film about listening – and feels like real life. Many people could relate to Viv saying “I can barely stand to be in the same room with him talking relentlessly about nothing, interrupting every thought I might have”.
Director-writer Mike Mills (Beginners, 20thCentury Women) has made a career out highlighting personal life observations, which are generally life affirming. Nothing feels artificial or untrue in this film. Black and white camera work is by Robbie Ryan and there is a good selection of eclectic music.
It has won many awards.
Now showing at Luna Leederville, Windsor Nedlands and Luna SX Fremantle.
Watch the trailer…