Title – The Skeleton Twins (2014)
Director – Craig Johnson (True Adolescents)
Cast – Kristin Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook
Plot – Siblings Maggie (Wiig) and Milo (Hader) find their troubled lives connecting once more after Milo’s attempted suicide. Moving in with Maggie and her loving husband Lance (Wilson) Milo and his sister try to find a way too happiness in their increasingly complicated lives.
“I guess I’ll talk to you in another ten years”
Review by Eddie on 11/02/2015
You’d be right in expecting The Skeleton Twins to be a laugh a minute riot by the judgement made in that fact that Saturday Night Live alumni’s Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are the headlining act here, but Craig Johnson’s often very dark, frequently bleak and often fantastically hilarious family drama is a serious affair that showcases these two comedic actors previously unexploited range, so don’t get your hopes up for SNL hijinks here.
An impressive hybrid of a film that takes cues from such projects as Little Miss Sunshine and The Royal Tenenbaums (this film also features an on song Luke Wilson) and countless other indie family dramas, The Skeleton Twins often outdoes many of its higher profile and more well-known counterparts as it displays an incredibly in tune feel for the events the film deals with. Johnson is exploring some intense themes here, from love, loss, suicide, marriage and of course family, Skeleton Twins is front loaded with some hefty issues but has the heart and wit to juggle them all even when sometimes you feel a cliché or two may be ready to bring things down. What’s even more impressive about this well-judged juggling act is how these frightfully human characters remain people we want to see find happiness even though there not at all overly likeable people. Johnson’s and Mark Heyman’s A-grade script certainly helps for this to come to fruition but a huge credit must be passed onto the films two leads.
Since breaking out in the huge comedy hit Bridesmaids, Wiig has found herself on the varying ends of success but there is little questioning her commitment to not being typecast and her turn here as frustrated and confused Maggie is a real dramatic triumph that would suggest Wiig is one day sooner rather than later bound for award glory. The other great triumph here is Bill Hader who really comes into his own as depressed but never far from humorous Milo. Hader so often the comedic foil relishes the chance to co-lead a film and his rapport with Wiig here is arguable one of the best double acts from last year, a scene in which the two siblings join in unison for a lip synching duet is an utter joy to watch, first because as most things in the film it feels so real and secondly because these two performers are connected to each other in a way only shared experiences can create.
With a great trio of central performances, a very respectful and solid directional take by Craig Johnson and with one of 2014’s most witty and at times touching scripts, The Skeleton Twins is a film well and truly that should be seen and one of the most successfully portrayed indie dramas in quite some time.
4 goldfish out of 5