In a year of multiple directorial debuts- such as Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place, and Paul Dano’s Wildlife- Jonah Hill’s new project, Mid90s, has taken on the challenge of creating a meaningful coming-of-age tale.
Mid90s shines as a story both true and bold to the community of young kids enduring the life of being a skateboarder in Los Angeles. Everything from set design, locations, and overall performances given help bring this film together for an immersion of genuine personable communication and reaction.
The film stars Sunny Suljic in his first lead role as Stevie, an often oblivious child from a struggling family who finds new life in a group of young skateboarders. Gradually, the relationship or, lack thereof, between Stevie’s mother Dabney, as portrayed by actress Katherine Waterston, and his older brother Ian, as portrayed by Oscar Nominee, Lucas Hedges, shows its true colors.
Ian acts as the aggressor, often physically abusing Stevie and attempting to ruin Stevie’s childhood after losing his to an absent mother. These actions, along with an overprotective mother, lead Stevie on a journey of self discovery and understanding of what it is to grow up- for himself and those dealing with their own inner turmoils around him. How the group of four outcasts interact with each other with Stevie is something of a spectacle on its own. Seeing how those generous or often misguided influences take a toll on Stevie’s’ adolescent mind as the film develops is something to experience for yourself.
One of the most notable aspects of this film is the original composition done by Oscar Winning collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The pair managed to create a less synthesized and more vibrant original piano score that consists of four tracks available on all streaming platforms. Along with an original composition, the film features many notable artists of the 1990’s, ranging from Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest to the Pixies and many more.
The start of Hill’s career as a filmmaker is a sight to see as he uses his life events in a project that was influenced by films such as Shane Meadows’ This is England and Harmony Korine’s Kids.
Mid90s had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Sept. 9, 2018, and a screening at the New York Film Festival on Oct. 7, 2018, with both events leading to critical acclaim. The picture went on to have a United States limited major city release on Oct. 19, 2018, and eventually a full release on Oct. 26, 2018.