Joaquin Phoenix deserved an Oscar nomination for C'mon C'mon
C'mon C'mon is a typically heartfelt look at the agony and ecstasy of parenting. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Johnny, a radio journalist who agrees to look after his 9-year-old nephew, Jesse (Woody Norman), while his semi-estranged sister Viv (Gaby Hoffmann) deals with a crisis. Uncle and nephew end up traveling from Jesse's L.A. home to New York City and New Orleans, forming and deepening a bond as Johnny struggles to navigate the everyday challenges of caring for a small, mostly helpless human being — and the particular challenges of dealing with Jesse's eccentric, precocious personality.
There's not much of a plot to speak of, but Mills fills out the movie by including interviews with real kids about their fears, frustrations, and feelings. It adds up to a sensitive portrait of children and adults just trying to make their way through life, with all the challenges, heartbreak, and clashes with other human beings that go with it.
C'mon C'mon is exactly the opposite of everything the Oscars usually recognize — low-key, understated, and gentle, a human-sized movie about everyday people living unextraordinary lives. Phoenix's performance is his most subtle work since, well, maybe ever
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