Today: May 28, 2024

Cyrus Cinema

Despite its popularity with indie film lovers, mumblecore
is a genre that purposely remains firmly in the dark. Brothers Mark and Jay
Duplass co-founded the movement but not the name (that was coined by a sound
editor) and have since made a slow but steady move out of independent
filmmaking and into the mainstream.

John (Reilly) has
been divorced for seven years and is hit hard when his ex-wife (Keener) tells him she is re-marrying. Lacking confidence
and unable to move on, he is dragged to a party where he meets and bonds with
Molly (Tomei) over a bit of
spirited karaoke. Rejuvenated and looking forward to the future with his new
and exciting girlfriend, his plans are soon thrown into disarray when he
accidentally meets her 21-year old son Cyrus (Hill), a seemingly innocent young man just interested in
making his barmy keyboard-based music. As Cyrus’ innocent veil begins to slip,
John is put in the difficult position of dealing with his schemes on his own or
confronting – and endangering – his relationship with the woman he loves.

Cyrus has a small but perfectly cast of actors. John C.
Reilly is a unique presence in Hollywood as he is able to carry comedy (Tenacious
D, Walk Hard, Step Brothers
), drama (Boogie
Nights, The Aviator, Magnolia
) and even
musicals (Chicago) with
effortless aplomb. If it wasn’t for his face full of “character”, he’d be a
much bigger star but the wonderful thing is he doesn’t need to be. As John,
Reilly is an endearing and heartbreakingly believable man who has been pulled
back from the brink of depression fuelled by loneliness by a woman he describes
as the Princess Fiona to his Shrek.

Although believing someone who looks like Marisa Tomei
could spawn someone who looks like Jonah Hill is a stretch,
she conveys a surprisingly genuine affection for
her screen son whilst simultaneously being mesmerised by her new and exciting
life with John. Equally Jonah Hill carries his end of the bargain with a
measured and assured performance that should help proves to most that he is
capable of doing something other than be sweary and crass. His quietly menacing
demeanour is awkwardly hilarious that is a perfect lead performance for this
style of film.

Jay and Mark Duplass have made no assertion that they want
to forever be associated with mumblecore as they are both making waves in other
areas but much like Michael Bay and
misogynistic, explosion laden films, this is where they fit and naturally
gravitate to. It often feels like they just let the cameras roll and simply
captured what they saw but they have a way of directing that doesn’t feel

Much like Greenberg,
Cyrus is a success because it takes the ideals of mumblecore and successfully
transfers them to a mainstream film starring recognisable actors. It has an
underlying sweetness that radiates off the screen and although it
isn’t as laugh out loud as the excellent trailer would suggest, Cyrus is a
great watch.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website:

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