The Skeleton Twins (2014): Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged twins reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship.
NOOOOOOOOOOO this movie had it all then it threw a lot of it away in the last 5 minutes.
Seriously. I'm f*cking pissed. This movie was on track to be my favorite movie of 2014 thus far and then the last five minutes, no seriously, the last FIVE F*CKING MINUTES it does everything it can to throw it away. The movie up to that point did a phenomenal job creating a very real and powerful bond between these two twins, played masterfully by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, but the final five minutes....ok let me try to do this without spoiling anything. The movie up to the last five minutes never asked you to suspend belief. There was no reason to, as the movie is very much a drama focusing on these two characters. But suddenly in the last five minutes, one of them goes and does something and the other is very suddenly and abruptly physically there for them, as the other does something potentially dangerous, despite the fact that in the previous scene the one who is suddenly physically there for them was nowhere near them. Like, 10+ miles away nowhere near them. It completely removes any tension in the scene and makes the giant climax of the movie the opposite of that. It makes it a concave, I guess. Then the movie just kind of ends. It's as if the filmmakers got to what ends up being the last five minutes and realized that they only had enough money in the budget to make five more minutes of film, so they just had to finished the movie. Seriously. It would've taken another three minutes worth of film to create the tension that they were going for at the climax. That's it. And it would've been three great minutes too. But it's not here. We are just expected to not make a big deal about one of the characters practically being in two places at once. God. D*mnit. Defend it all you want. Maybe you don't care about movies messing majorly with geography. Usually it doesn't bother me, either. Maybe when I don't know for sure where a character is it wouldn't bother me. But when I know exactly where a character is, and then in the next scene they are in a place I know is nowhere near the previous place, it really bothers me. Look I can't dock the movie too much for this immersion break, as it is literally just the last five minutes, but it did leave an incredibly bitter taste in my mouth afterwards.
Ok I will try not to talk about the final five minutes again, because there is a rest of the movie here, too. And the rest of the movie is fantastic. The acting is phenomenal. Director Craig Johnson made the brilliant move of casting four comedic actors for this drama, and as a result they flawlessly and expertly implement dry humor and wit into their dramatic roles throughout the 93 minute film. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, formerly of SNL, Luke Wilson, formerly of comedies such as Blades of Glory, Old School, and Anchorman, and Ty Burrell from Modern Family all do a fantastic job in their roles, putting in some of the best performances in terms of fitting in with the movie itself that I've seen all year. In a long time, really. While likely none of these roles will see an Oscar nomination, that's not necessarily the point in The Skeleton Twins. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig work perfectly together, as their wit and charm bring their characters, who are twins by the way, (whoa it's like the name of the movie or something!) to a near-perfect point. I was blown away by Kristen Wiig actually. After she practically lulled me to sleep in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and was only average with a poorly-written character in Anchorman 2, she comes roaring and I mean ROARING back in The Skeleton Twins. I was starting to worry that Kristen Wiig couldn't hold her own outside SNL, but now I am officially a convert. If anyone has any doubts as to the acting ability of Kristen Wiig, go see this movie, and put those doubts to rest. As for Bill Hader, well I've been a long-time convert for him ever since his hilarious performance in Adventureland (fun fact: his character was paired with Kristen Wiig the entire movie, yet I remember Hader's performance clear as day but can't remember Wiig's performance at all) and have loved him ever since.
The story is phenomenal, short of NOPE not gonna talk about it. The rest of the movie creates some very real human problems with our lead characters, including a relationship between Bill Hader and Ty Burrell that is really heart-wrenching, despite getting very little screen time. And then there's the lip-sync scene. Up to this point in 2014, the lip-sync scene in this movie involving Wiig and Hader is the best thing I've seen out of Hollywood in 2014. For those that want to know what I'm talking about, I did find a link. Here it is. It's a beautiful scene between the twins that had me practically crying tears of joy for them. Even in later viewings of the scene! Just wait guys: this scene is going to make my top 5 moments of 2014 when that list comes around. It's coming.
There really isn't much else this movie does wrong. Else. The sound editing is a little shaky at first for some reason, but then it corrected itself as the movie went on. That was really weird honestly. In the first act of the movie the music was improperly balanced with the dialogue and so I found myself turning the volume up and down to try to understand what the characters were saying while a pop song was playing in the background. Or foreground, in this case. Then it gradually got better throughout the second and third act. That was odd. Um....the cinematography was just average. Which isn't really a complaint, but 2014 has absolutely been the year for cinematography thus far so to see a movie be only average with it kind of almost makes it look bad. But The Skeleton Twins can thank Hollywood for spoiling us moviegoers with that one. That's really it, guys. If you like movies, go see The Skeleton Twins.
NOW DO YOU SEE WHY THE FINAL FIVE MINUTES WERE SO FRUSTRATING?
The Verdict: A fantastic movie that flew under-the-radar filled with stellar performances from its comedic leads. While it falls apart in the last few minutes, this alone cannot take away from the rest of the awesome movie.
The Recommendation: A must-see for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the movies.
The Verdict: 9/10 Awesome
Oscar Talk: This movie may sneak in and be the indie film for Best Picture at the Oscars this year. This or The Theory of Everything appear to be the forerunners for this spot. By the way I'll be getting to The Theory of Everything shortly. If the Academy will continue it's trend with the unnecessarily large nomination class for Best Picture in nominating an indie film, it will likely be one of these two movies that get that spot.
I'm done. I'm gonna go and watch that lip sync scene again. Join me, will you?
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