Film Review: Cyrus
Cyrus effectively mixes drama with comedic episodes, producing a thoroughly watchable movie. The style of the film distinguishes itself from many others in the comedy-drama category, resulting in an offbeat picture that is unlikely to set the box office ablaze, but should be enjoyed by all that take a punt on Cyrus.
Divorced John is stuck in a rut until he meets an amazing woman at a party. Things are going well for the pair, until John stats to spend time with her grown-up son Cyrus…
Whilst the trailer suggests Cyrus is a comedy foremost, in reality the film is a drama with comedic interludes. Hopefully this will not deter viewers, as Cyrus is an earnest and believable movie. It is also a film that should resonate with a wide range of cinemagoers, and not just those who may have had similar experiences as the protagonist. Cyrus is really about the complexities of relationships and fitting into a structure; themes that should be universally identifiable.
A major part of what makes the film works so well is the performances by the cast. In a rare leading man role, John C. Reilly gives a great performance as the down-on-his-luck guy looking to make the most of this rare chance of romance. It is refreshing to see a leading man in a romance who is not conventionally good-looking; John’s lack of self-confidence is all the genuine because of this.
Jonah Hill is excellent as dependent son Cyrus. It is a reticent performance; Hill’s deadpan expressions and monotone responses generate a lot of the laughs in Cyrus. Marisa Tomei appears authentic as Molly, mother of Cyrus and object of John’s affection. Catherine Keener also puts in a good performance as John’s ex-wife.
Writer and director team Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass produce a real indie-feel to Cyrus. There is a lot of hand-held camera action, and the sound is at odds with most Hollywood films. The film combines natural sound with a score by Michael Andrews. Some of the scenes between John and Molly feature the dialogue over edited shots of the pair; giving these sequences a dream-like effect. Whilst the camera work is at times distracting, on the whole the less-polished approach seems appropriate given the nature of the film.
If you are expecting a out-and-out comedy, Cyrus will come as a disappointment. But as a drama with hints of humour, Cyrus works well.