Sundance Diary: 'Cyrus' : Monkey See In the new film Cyrus, you may see a slightly different side of Jonah Hill, among other things.
NPR logo Sundance Diary: 'Cyrus'

Sundance Diary: 'Cyrus'

Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei, and John C. Reilly appear in Cyrus. Chuck Zlotnick hide caption

toggle caption
Chuck Zlotnick

by Ella Taylor

With Cyrus, extreme indie filmmakers Jay and Mark Duplass (Baghead, The Puffy Chair) make a sort-of sortie into mainstream comedy that has accrued a whole lot of festival love in the first few days.

The movie already has a distributor, but the combination of reigning indie queens Marisa Tomei and Catherine Keener (playing the sane one, for a change), John C. Reilly and the ineffable Jonah Hill (Superbad), was so irresistible that I snuck it in before running off to a devastating doc about the abortion debate.

And was glad I did. Ample in every way, Hill manages to come off both dangerous and adorable as a deadpan basket case who is, shall we say, so very, very attached to Tomei's Mommy (as she is to him) that he will do all in his devious power to prevent her from shacking up with Reilly, who's still bruised from a long-ago divorce from Keener.

Among other sneaky things, this sweetly lethal movie suggests that the open and honest communication we long for may be over-rated. There's something to be said for creative co-dependence, and if you think you see a happy ending, you may be insufficiently acquainted with the many blooming varieties of family madness.

I did a double take when I saw that those other brothers, Ridley and Tony Scott, have a producing credit. Perhaps that would account for the outstandingly large carving knife in Hill's plump little paw.