My Old Addiction

Movie Reviews By Bil Antoniou

Other People (2016)

CHRIS KELLY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 2016.  , .  Screenplay by Chris Kelly.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by Independent Spirit Awards 2016Washington Film Critics Awards 2016.

Jesse Plemmons and Molly Shannon in Other People

Aspiring television writer  has returned home to be with his mother () for what will turn out to be the last year of her life after she has been diagnosed with cancer.  He hasn’t achieved what he’s been after in his career, he hasn’t told his family that he broke up with his boyfriend since they were never all that cool about him coming out to begin with, and now he is plunged back into the world of his painful adolescence and a lot of old friends and neighbours to go with it.  Watching his mother decline while he has to deal with his fraught relationship with his father () sounds like the worst cliches of American independent filmmaking combined in one, but writer/director Chris Kelly puts the emphasis on comedy for a film that is bright and charismatic at even its saddest moments.  Shannon has scenes of pure suffering that she doesn’t quite pull off, the work shows a bit in these moments, and it’s a lot to buy her as the kind of mom would have ever been anything but cool about a gay son (the part was originally supposed to be played by Sissy Spacek), but her funny, perfectly timed interactions with both Plemons and Whtiford are the result for all her years of brilliant work in smaller, less rewarding roles.

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