GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL 2019 – OPENING GALA
Run Time: 1h24m
Director: Jonah Hill
Cast: Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges, Na-kel Smith, Ryder McLaughlin, Katherine Waterston,
Synopsis: the film follows teenager Stevie – growing up in 1990s-era Los Angeles – who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop
Multi-talented Jonah Hill’s directorial debut – which opened the 2019 Glasgow Film Festival – is a vivid snapshot of ‘90s LA that is redolent of time and place and filled with youthful authenticity.
Thirteen year old Stevie [Sunny Suljic – The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017), The House with a Clock in its Walls (2018)] is seeking refuge from a dysfunctional homelife, with a bullying big brother Ian [Lucas Hedges – Boy Erased (2018), Manchester by the Sea (2016)] and a distracted mother Dabney [Katherine Waterson – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)]. Stevie ingratiates himself with a local group of older teen skateboarders. Seeking to emulate these ultra-cool kids, he dedicates himself to becoming a master skater, innocently stirring up conflicts and jealousies that play out as he becomes part of the gang and is exposed to the attractions of smoking, drinking, girls and house parties.
A soundtrack of ‘90s recordings – combined with an original score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – gives an authentic feel for the period. Sunny Suljic is a shining star as Stevie, ably backed with naturalistic performances from a talented youth ensemble.
Hill has produced a well crafted, coming of age tale about loneliness, youthful curiosity and self-discovery which everyone can relate to – even if you weren’t a ‘90s skateboarder.
Be warned however, there is strong, street language which is often un-p.c. in the extreme – but which adds to the honesty and reality of the film.
Images courtesy of ALTITUDE FILMS