‘C’mon C’mon’ First Look: Joaquin Phoenix Does a 180 from ‘Joker’ in Mike Mills’ Drama

Phoenix looks to show a softer side in the black-and-white film from the "20th Century Women" and "Beginners" director.
C'mon C'mon
Tobin Yelland

As the New York Film Festival pads out its lineup, one of the can’t-miss, late-breaking titles out of the Spotlight section is surely Mike Mills’ “C’mon C’mon.” The black-and-white drama from A24 is the latest film from the “Beginners” and “20th Century Women” director, and it stars Joaquin Phoenix in a performance that looks to be a 180 from his psychotic, Academy Award-winning turn in “Joker.” Check out a first look image from the film above, and read this synopsis out of the New York Film Festival:

After gracing audiences with “Beginners” and “20th Century Women” (NYFF54), writer-director Mike Mills returns with another warm, insightful, and gratifyingly askew portrait of American family life. A soulful Joaquin Phoenix plays Johnny, a kindhearted radio journalist deep into a project in which he interviews children across the U.S. about our world’s uncertain future. His sister, Viv (a marvelously intuitive Gaby Hoffmann), asks him to watch her 8-year-old son, Jesse (Woody Norman, in one of the most affecting breakout child performances in years), while she tends to the child’s father, who’s suffering from mental health issues. After agreeing, Johnny finds himself connecting with his nephew in ways he hadn’t expected, ultimately taking Jesse with him on a journey from Los Angeles to New York to New Orleans. Anchored by three remarkable actors, “C’mon C’mon” is a gentle yet impeccably crafted drama about coming to terms with personal trauma and historical legacies. An A24 release.

The film also stars comedian Jaboukie Young-White. Principal photography on the movie began toward the end of 2019 and wrapped in January 2020, so anticipation for “C’mon C’mon” has been building for some time. The black-and-white photography was lensed by Robbie Ryan, the Academy Award-nominated cinematographer behind Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite.”

After “C’mon C’mon,” Joaquin Phoenix will next be seen in Ari Aster’s “Disappointment Blvd.,” which is currently in production.

The rest of the NYFF lineup, which already included the previously announced “The Tragedy of Macbeth” from Joel Coen, “Parallel Mothers” from Pedro Almodóvar, and “The Power of the Dog” from Jane Campion, is looking rich, with recently added screenings including Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter.”

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