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#TIFF18 Review: Mid90s

September 12, 2018

By John Corrado

★★★★ (out of 4)

Jonah Hill, in his directorial debut, has delivered one of the best movies of the festival with Mid90s. The indie flick follows Stevie (Sunny Suljic), a kid in 1995 who is looking for a sense of belonging that he isn’t getting at home with his single mother (Katherine Waterston) and physically abusive older brother (Lucas Hedges), and starts to hang out with an inner city Los Angeles skater crew.

Having worked with a variety of great directors throughout his acting career, we can tell that Hill has learned from the best, with a myriad of cinematic influences felt throughout Mid90s. The film is carried by exceptional performances from its young cast, including a remarkable turn from Sunny Suljic in the lead, and equally memorable turns from all the members of the skate crew. Watch out for Na-Kel Smith, who plays the leader of the group, and seriously deserves a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He has a tender and touching scene near the end that will floor you.

For 85 glorious minutes, Mid90s takes us on an appealing nostalgia trip that is by turns hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt, with never a wrong step or missed beat along the way. The film is exceptional and sublimely entertaining at the same time, and to top it all off, it’s all set to a knockout soundtrack that mixes songs from the era with an excellent new score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It’s an instant classic, that feels like a lost gem from the ’90s.

Sunny Suljic and Na-Kel Smith in Mid90s

Public Screenings:

Sunday, September 9th – 9:15 PM at Ryerson Theatre

Monday, September 10th – 2:45 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Friday, September 14th – 6:00 PM at Ryerson Theatre

The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6th to 16th.

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