TIFF 2018: Mid90s

Sunny Suljic and Lucas Hedges in Mid90s. Photo credit: Tobin Yelland.

Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s, takes us back to the middle of the 1990s with a look at life for one teenager’s summer in LA.

Stevie (Sunny Suljic) lives with his older, abusive brother Ian (Lucas Hedges, appearing in 3 films at TIFF), and single mom, Dabney (Katherine Waterston).  Stevie’s world opens up when he discovers a skate shop.

While I realize that the film takes place during the mid-90s, the frequent use of slurs seem to be a bit too much.  It’s not only that but you have someone like Reuben (Gio Galicia) telling Stevie that saying “thank you” means you’re gay.  Sure, another skater, Ray (Na-kel Smith), tells Stevie that Reuben is wrong but it’s all a bit much for my tastes.

I’m a fan of Jonah Hill’s acting work so I went into Mid90s wanting to like the film.  It didn’t take long in the theater before realizing that it would not be a pleasant experience.  Try going through elementary and middle school–when the film takes place–while constantly being teased with the F word.  I get that Hill is trying to depict this skater life in LA but it doesn’t make these words any less hurtful.

Mid90s won’t be for everyone.

CAST:  Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges, Na-kel Smith, Gio Galicia, Ryder McLaughlin, Alexa Demie, Olan Prenatt, and Katherine Waterston

Mid90s held its world premiere during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in the Special Presentations program. A24 will release the film on October 19, 2018.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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