THE SKELETON TWINS | MOVIE REVIEW

I just love Kristen Wiig, one amazing woman who cracks me up constantly. You also gotta love Bill Hader and his comedy. Put them together in a drama comedy or dramedy and you have one great combination for an amazing film. THE SKELETON TWINS is out now from Sony Pictures Australia. It is rated M and runs for 93mins. Apologies for the delay in review, the Bali conundrum stepped in. Enjoy Kernel Vanessa Capito’s review of this fine looking movie. I can’t wait to see it now. All the best…..JK.

 

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THE SKELETON TWINS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY VANESSA CAPITO

Abandon all memories of Stefon and Gilly as Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig manoeuvre between dashed hopes and humour in their performances in THE SKELETON TWINS, a story about two emotionally unstable twins with suicidal tendencies attempting to reignite their complicated bond. Their comic and dramatic range within the film will no doubt impress you as the film moves away from the comedic sketches audiences are used to seeing the SNL graduates in, showing a much more serious and delicate side to the duo.  Though that’s not to say THE SKELETON TWINS isn’t funny, because it’s undoubtedly hilarious. And with a theme like depression, director Craig Johnson managed to create a soulful comedy-drama film with the script he wrote with buddy Mark Heyman (BLACK SWAN) that not only keeps you hooked, but also intelligently shows the power and use comedy has as a coping mechanism for hard times. The sequence the film follows is a pretty standard outline, emotional crises followed up by periods of calm and humour, but despite these conventional aspects, THE SKELETON TWINS brings a richness to it’s characters and their woeful complications.

 

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THE SKELETON TWINS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MAGGIE (KRISTEN WIIG) AND MILO (BILL HADER)

 

The essence of drama is quickly established in the opening sequence of the film that sees one half of the duo, Milo (Hader), a failed and lonely actor fresh out of a relationship getting himself drunk enough to have the willpower to slash wrists in the bathtub. The film then cuts to Maggie (Wiig), working in New York as a dental hygienist and in a seemingly fruitful marriage to guy’s guy Lance (Luke WIlson). She, in a similar situation, is contemplating suicide with a large handful of pills. Fortunately she is pulled from the brink as she’s interrupted by a phone call to inform her that her estranged twin brother of 10 years has been hospitalised for attempted suicide and she flies out to Los Angeles to be by his side, for a somewhat bittersweet reunion. Coaxed by Maggie, twin Milo reluctantly joins her to stay in her upstate New York home and while he’s there Milo attempts to rekindle a relationship he had with his first love, Rich (Ty Burrell), though the imperfections of the relationship are slowly revealed as the film continues. In the meantime, Maggie takes a liking to her scuba instructor (Boyd Holbrook) and confesses to her twin the secret behind her failure to conceive a child with husband Lance.

Their father’s suicide is a large cause of the underlying problems the siblings have that they’ve carried through to adulthood, and the nature of their absent and narcissistic mother (Joanna Gleason) certainly hasn’t help aid the situation. Though as the film progresses, the shared humour between the twins, that’s specific to brothers and sisters, is drawn upon and the connection is certainly palpable, underscored by cuts of them as children playing dress-ups with their father.

 

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THE SKELETON TWINS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MAGGIE (KRISTEN WIIG) AND MILO (BILL HADER)

 

Johnson and Heyman have done an incredible job with the script, and with Johnson’s direction, Hader and Wiig are shown at their best; getting high over nitrous oxide, revisiting childhood Halloween antics with Milo dressed in drag, leading up to the films pinnacle moment where the two lip-synch to Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”. Though I also have to add, watching Hader’s whole face sink as he repeats the words “Dyke night?” at a local gay bar is absolutely priceless. It’s the effortlessness in the film that really brings it all together and the vulnerability in the characters that is so relatable really distinguishes their acting as wonderful performances. With a tight budget, and limited marketing, THE SKELETON TWINS has fairly low expectations for financial success but that’s not really the measure of success the filmmakers and cast are after with an indie production like this. With many great moments, Wiig and Hader outright amaze in what is only Johnson’s second feature production.

 

4 Pops