The souls of our children
Original title: C’mon C’mon
Instruction: Mike Mills
Manuscript: Mike Mills
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Woody Norman, Gaby Hoffman
Publisher: Metropolitan Video
Cinema Release Date: January 26, 2022
DVD / BR release date: May 26, 2022
A radio journalist, Johnny interviews young people across the country about their vision for the future. A family crisis suddenly turns his life upside down: his sister, whom he is not very close to, asks him to take care of her son, Jesse. Johnny agrees to do so, but has no experience raising a child. Between the two, however, begins a relationship consisting of daily life, anxiety, hope and sharing that will change their view of the world …
Once is not customary, we will from the beginning express our last feelings on The souls of our children : This is a captivating movie, even if it’s imperfect. Unbalanced from a narrative point of view, poor pace, but often so exciting and imbued with such a sense of authenticity that the viewer can only surrender and be carried away by the emotions the film conveys, and by this encounter between two beings that nothing a a priori disposed to complete each other in such a moving way.
But the reason the meeting between Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) and Jesse (Woody Norman) will certainly end up finding the hearts of the public is not only related to the confrontation between two lonelinesses, nor necessarily the way the two characters. will end up taming each other to heal their trauma. It’s also due to the talent of director / screenwriter Mike Mills, and the way he manages to install, from the first minutes of The souls of our childrena very special context.
Mike Mills’ film has a radio host whose main occupation is to travel to the United States to interview children and young people about various social issues. In fact, one of the subtitles of The souls of our children will win pretty quickly: It will be a matter of showing how far-sighted young people can be, provided they are simply allowed to express their thoughts freely. Coincidentally, it’s a basic element of the film, a way for Johnny and for the viewer to go a little further than apparently in terms of the character Jesse, and his many problems that evoke a mild autism.
As Mike Mills explains in the audio commentary to The souls of our children available on Blu-ray published by Metropolitan video, all interviews with children in the film were filmed with “real children”, to use the funny way he chooses to call them – not that there are real and fake children, the idea for him is above all to emphasize that it is not a matter of actors reciting a text. This choice enhances the almost documentary impact of certain sequences of the film. But the effect of The souls of our children is not only due to this choice to integrate a large part of “reality” into the heart of the story: the actors are also fantastic, and a large part of the film’s dramatic weight rests on the shoulders of the remarkable Woody Norman. He is undeniably “THE” revelation of the film: his performance is controlled and to be honest quite dizzying.
We might as well be ready from the start: Blu-ray off The souls of our children edited by Metroplitan video offers us a simply remarkable home theater experience. The image is superb, even in its darkest passages, and perfectly pays homage to the sublime black and white photo of the film, signed by Robbie Ryan. The definition is accurate, the black and white are perfectly saturated, the High Definition champion stands and rejoices to the fullest. On the audio side, VF and VO are offered to us in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and in both cases the mixture proves to be perfectly immersive and dynamic, with good utilization of the back step. The acoustic reproduction is solid, though the spaciousness certainly does not provide an intense show. A fantastic technical work.
In the supplement section, the publisher first offers us one audio commentary by author / director Mike Mills, which we reserve for experienced English speakers, as the latter are offered without subtitles. Then we continue with one the preparation of (8 minutes), which will return to the making of the film and its shooting, while offering short interviews with the team. Then we continue with two short features in about a minute, which will return to the relationship between Joaquin Phoenix and Woody Norman, as well as the message of the film, and we end with the traditional trailer.