Movies

Cyrus is directed by these kind of annoying brothers, Jay and Mark Duplass. They’re considered pioneers of mumblecore (what a stupid word), when really mumblecore, or chatty dramas featuring characters who speak softly to heighten realism, was invented by Richard Linklater, Jim Jarmusch before him, whatever Asian or European filmmakers those guys are influenced by, and a million more directors in between. Giving the Duplass brothers credit for the aesthetic is like saying Quentin Tarantino invented grindhouse cinema, but whatever. The verite-style quick zooms in Cyrus pull me out of the story and make me feel like I’m watching a Tony Scott production. I don’t always need a closer look at the characters, and zooming numerous times in every scene makes the gimmick meaningless anyway. The film’s saving grace is its cast. Jonah Hill is funny as usual, though his dramatic range is limited. It seems like he improvised the funniest parts in the movie, but I could be wrong. The opening image is the exterior of a house, Catherine Keener knocking at the front door.