© MFA/Filmagentinnen

U.S.A. 2018

Opening 7 Mar 2019

Directed by: Jonah Hill
Writing credits: Jonah Hill
Principal actors: Sunny Suljic, Katherine Waterston, Lucas Hedges, Na-kel Smith, Olan Prenatt

Stevie (Sunny Suljic) lives with his single mother (Katherine Waterston) and his older brother Ian (Lucas Hedges) in Los Angeles, California. Stevie likes to sneak into his brother’s room and watch his brother’s DVDs. Ian considers himself the man of the family and aims to keep Stevie in line, which is not an easy job considering that Stevie is approaching puberty with typical teenager problems. For the first time he drinks, smokes, gets kissed by a girl, and steals small cash from his mother. Most influential is a new skate board which opens a whole different life, riding around Los Angeles and hanging out with like-minded friends, Ray (Na-kel Smith), Ruben (Gio Galicia), Fuckshit (Olan Prenatt), and Fourth Grade (Ryder McLaughlin).They call him Sunburn. Fourth Grade is never without his camera; he plans to make movies, starting with his friends.

Thanks to the talented 13-year-old Sunny Suljic, the story swings along – mostly on a skateboard – with time for serious discussions among the young boys as they find their places in this world. Question: was it really necessary for someone to say the word “fuck” 163 times throughout the film? Such repetition only drags down any possibilities for originality.

Jonah Hill already enjoys a successful career as an actor and now this is his first attempt at directing. Born 1983 in Los Angeles, I wonder how much of the story was inspired by his own childhood in LA in the ‘90s. There were 25 songs to support the action, all filmed on location in Los Angeles California. Mid90s premiered at the Toronto and Berlinale film festivals. (Becky Tan)

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