Other People

Molly Shannon won the Best Supporting Actress Independent Spirit Award this year for Other People. The film is written by Saturday Night Live head writer Chris Kelly based a true story of his mother’s death from cancer. Shannon plays Mom Joanne to Jesse Plemons’ (Fargo) lead character David who is a struggling gay writer living in New York City venturingĀ home to Sacramento to help his family through his mother’s health crisis. Since I live with someone who hates vomit scenes in film, I have to warn other like-minded viewers this is a major throw-up movie. But only for the first half or so. Then things settle down to a pretty standard crisis mode drama. Shannon shines as Joanne who struggles with her cancer and what that might mean to her family left behind. Plemons is understated and strong as David, a fish out of water in Sacramento. Bradley Whitford is a bit miscast as the father who hasn’t quite accepted his son’s coming out from ten years ago. The two younger sisters (one of them is Judd Apatow’s daughter Maude) don’t have enough of a part so they unfortunately blend into each other. There could have been stronger writing or one less sister to help. Still Other People excels as a family drama and doesn’t strike any unrealistic tones as the film ends. I appreciate the honesty and the attempt and look forward to Kelly’s next project. 3.5 out of 5.

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