Jonah Hill’s directorial debut is an authentic slice of life from 1990s Los Angeles.
13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic – unforgettable in The Killing of a Sacred Deer) needs somebody, anybody, to relate to – and badly. His older brother Ian (Lucas Hedges) violently bullies him, whilst his mother Dabney (Katherine Waterson) is often occupied. Things change when Stevie spots an older group of skaters at the Motor Avenue skate shop, who soon take him under their tattered wings. For Stevie, this is salvation: he finally feels like he belongs. Nicknamed ‘Sunburn’ by his new group, he is quickly brought up to speed with skateboarding culture, sex and alcohol.
Hill’s talent shines through. With an original script, he has crafted Mid90s into something entirely his own. Laced through with a disarming tenderness and a strong sense of authenticity, this coming-of-age tale feels like a time capsule that has just been unearthed.
Gorgeous glimmers of hilarity poke through a careful exploration of multi-dimensional characters, all soundtracked by a handpicked hip-hop score. Built with integrity and flair – a real gem that bodes well for the future of the filmmaker.
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