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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'C'mon C'mon': The Sincere and Emotive Tale of a Radio Journalist Caring for His Young Nephew

C'mon C'mon (2021) is the heartfelt tale of a radio journalist named Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) who travels America interviewing children about their lives. In a highly meaningful turn, Johnny's sister Viv (Gaby Hoffmann) reaches out to ask if he will care for her son Jesse (Woody Norman) for the immediate future, despite his hectic travel schedule.

Viv contacts Johnny while on location in Detroit, asking him to come to Los Angeles to watch Jesse while she tends to her ex-husband Paul (Scoot McNairy) who is struggling with worsening mental illness. Johnny accepts the opportunity to bond with his nephew but is ultimately forced to take Jesse on the road—initially to his home in New York City. Over time the two develop a unique camaraderie, though not without the complexities of a precocious child and an emotionally limited adult attempting to forge common ground.

Written and directed by Mike Mills (Beginners, 20th Century Women) and shot in contemplative black-and-white by cinematographer Robbie Ryan, C'mon C'mon is a touching tale of empathy and actualization. Phoenix and Norman bear the emotional weight of the storyline while delivering finely nuanced portrayals of complex human beings at markedly different stages in life. Steeped in warmth and compassion, it's one of the more transpersonal tales of human connectivity in recent cinematic memory.


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