Mid90s is a wonderful look back into life in the 90s

Brendan Sheardy, Staff Writer

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  Mid90s is a coming of age drama that follows a young boy named Stevie who finds new friends at a skate shop in Los Angeles during the mid 90s. Jonah Hill writes and directs this film and stars Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges, Na-kel Smith, Olan Prenatt, and Katherine Waterston.

     This film is incredible. I am completely blown away by Jonah Hill’s work in this film. It’s hard to believe that this is Hill’s first ever directorial work, because it feels like you are watching a veteran. From the atmosphere, shot composition, and dialogue, everything in this movie worked.

     Setting a film in the 90s can be very dangerous, because, if it gets put into the wrong hands, it can be a disaster. However, Jonah Hill is able to pack in a ton of nostalgia without making a single pop culture reference. Instead, he presents his nostalgia through the film’s atmosphere. The wardrobe, the speech patterns, and subtle details in the environment, such as graffiti on buildings or older technology, makes this film feel like it was ripped straight out of the 90s. Personally, I think films set in a specific era often feel cheap because of the constant references to popular things of that time, but this film felt so realistic because it focused completely on actually putting the audience in the era, instead of telling us.

     The film is shot on super 16 film format, which I really appreciated because it’s my favorite format. This choice also made the film feel a lot older, since a lot of movies and TV shows in the 90s were shot on super 16. The film is also presented in 4:3 aspect ratio instead of the standard 16:9 or 2.35:1. This makes the screen look like a square instead of the cinema-standard super widescreen. I loved this choice because all TV sets in the 90s were also standard 4:3 monitors. It’s easy to see that Hill was very passionate about this film and dedicated to putting us in this era.

     The film is also driven by it’s incredible performances across the board. Sunny Suljic absolutely kills it in his first ever acting role. He accurately portrays what it’s like to be a young kid and the pressures of trying to look cool and impress others. Some other great first-time performances were from Na-kel Smith and Olan Prenatt. There’s a scene with Suljic and Smith where we learn about each character’s troubled past, and it was the highlight of the film. It was very well done between the actors and it portrayed a great deal of emotion. Lucas Hedges and Katherine Waterston are the only experiences actors in the film, and they do very well in their limited screen time. I especially loved Hedges’s performance. He played Suljic’s abusive older brother, and it may be his career best.

     Although the film is set in the 90s, I think high school kids will relate to this film a lot. This film perfectly portrays what it’s like to grow up and things we have to do to fit into a group of friends. It has a lot of themes that I believe can connect with students at Lakeview.

     The film also doesn’t limit itself to a specific time period. It is set in the 90s, but it’s themes can apply to kids of any generation. It has themes of growing up and trying to fit in. The film also says a lot about how kids can go to unnecessary lengths to impress someone else, even though they don’t need to.

     I loved every minute of Mid90s. My eyes were glued to the screen for the entire 84 minute run time. The film has excellent directing, writing, acting, and atmosphere. This is a film that everyone should see, and a film that will relate a lot of students at Lakeview. There are very few films that I feel comfortable giving a perfect rating, and Mid90s is one of them. Go see this film as soon as you can, it is playing everywhere now.

     Rating: 10/10

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Mid90s is a wonderful look back into life in the 90s