Greg is a self deprecating teen, trying to make his way though his senior year by not rocking the boat too much.
During school hours he survives by quietly acknowledging each social group in school whilst not associating himself with any of them. This all goes down the pan when his mum makes him spend time with a fellow student who has be diagnosed with leukaemia, Rachel.
From the influence of the girl he has a crush on and his co-worker Earl, Greg sets out to try and make a film for Rachel.
I get asked a lot what my favourite film is and I will never commit to one because there are so many other there that are worthy of recognition for different reasons. But if anyone asks me my favourite genre: this would be it.
Clunky close-ups characters are looking straight back at you, where music is used at times almost a dialogue and spontaneous animation that show what the main character is thinking.
If you don’t know what I mean and want a reference, anything with Michael Cera. The story line for this film mixes something we all know (trying to survive school) with something only a few of us will hopefully have to encounter (cancer), and director Alfonso Gomex-Gejon managed to create a film that is not only beautiful but tells this story in a clumsy but delicate
Thomas Mann plays the main lead Greg, a senior in school who just wants to make it though, keep his head down and make films with his “co-worker” Earl who is played by RJ Cyler. On screen these guys work really well together to make a relationship that is completely unclear as it isn’t too long before we see the flaws in their partnership.
What is great about these two is it is so easy to assume that their relationship was unquestionable before hand. It is hard to tell where the characters end and the actors begin. Olivia Cooke is probably the most surprising of the three as not only does she keep the tempo of the film and bring out the passion in the others but she manages to cover any signs of her Manchurian accent!
These upcoming actors and actresses are supported not only by Jon Bernthel (The Walking Dead), Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live) and Conny Britton (Nashville) but Nick Offman (Parks and Recreations) and the voice of Hugh Jackman (Wolverine). There is one other face that you might notice: Matt Bennett who you will either know from Bridesmaids or from the viral YouTube video ‘The Slap’.
What I love about films like these is you have a great character driven story line, filled with amazing talent both young and old, but also the reoccurring animations that pop up and personify how a character is feeling in the only way a mind is able to do.
I confess I went in to watch this film bias: I loved the trailer before I saw the feature. The fact this film was at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded Grand Jury Prise: Dramatic winner, and Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic Winner just goes to show what a work of art it is.
The best part for me though is the ending, it is perfect: both written and acted beautifully.
If you don’t get the chance to see this in the cinema make sure you get it when it is out on DVD.
Written by Chuckie exclusively for MARKMEETS.COM
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