The Timeless Era of the "mid90s"
As someone who was a major fan of Superbad and Jonah Hill in general, I was more than eager to see his directorial debut film mid90s. Jonah Hill exhibits a keen eye for his first time behind the camera, and the movie displays that tremendously.
mid90s revolves around the life of thirteen-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic) in Los Angeles during the (you guessed it) mid-90s. While trying to escape from his terrorizing brother and absent-minded mother, Stevie is awed by a group of kids that spends all their time skateboarding. They are several years older than Stevie but still take him under their wing. Although Stevie is exposed to circumstances and situations above his maturity level, he is finally relieved to have found a family.
The cinematography, by Chris Blauvelt, was appropriate to the time period. The precise camera angles used in scenes, as well as jump shots, blended perfectly to create the eerie feel of being transported through time. Every detail of the movie, including the props, wardrobe, and soundtrack, was well thought out to provide the audience a sense of nostalgia and immersion in the era.
Not only was Jonah Hill the director of mid90s, he also wrote the script. The dialogue throughout the whole movie showcased a rawness between the characters. The characterization plays a huge role in the particular essence of the script. As the film proceeds, the audience falls in love with the chaotic, but also relatable personalities of the characters. The absence of cellphones resulted in actual interaction between the characters, which in turn generates a connection to the audience.
mid90s easily could have been made into a typical Hollywood-style film, but Jonah Hill didn’t go in that direction. Rather, he created an almost documentary-like film that possesses the sheer quality of “real life” situations and authenticity that audiences crave. It’s not a completely original method, and the dialogue doesn’t ring true 100% of the time, but these issues seem beside the point. Go see mid90s in theatres today; you won’t be disappointed.