Jonah Hill directs first movie, “Mid90s”


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"Mid 90s" wa released Oct. 19, 2018.

Alex Lasin and Brooke McCormick

Jonah Hill made his writing and directing debut with Mid90s, a movie that follows 13 year old Stevie as he deals with domestic abuse and struggles to find his place in the world as he grows older. Hill said the film was based on his observations and experiences as a kid growing up skateboarding.

In this coming of age film, Stevie is drawn to a group of older kids who introduce him to the 90s skate culture and provide a means of escape from the abuse of his older brother Ian.

His desire to belong somewhere is personified by Stevie’s admiration for the group of skaters and his initiative to become one of them. His challenging home life, with his violent brother and single mother, emphasizes the idea that when your given family isn’t what it should be, friends can be a chosen family.

His new friends act as the emotional backbone his mother and brother aren’t, although they aren’t necessarily ideal role models. He experiences both the pains and pleasures of growing up, and through his new friends, he’s introduced to drugs, alcohol, and girls at a young age.

The movie had a distinct feeling of nostalgia through the carefully curated soundtrack, pop culture references, and 16mm film in which it was captured. It was scored by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails, who also collaborated for the scores for The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl. The soundtrack featured songs from classic hip hop artists like Wu-Tang Clan and Cypress Hill to rock artists such as Nirvana and The Pixies, all of which contributed to the variety of tones throughout the film.

What makes this movie stand out from others is that Hill handpicked some of the actors from the skate park itself. Many of the actors in the film are real skaters, Mid90s being their first film. Despite not having any prior acting experience, the boys were able to adjust to being on camera easily, acting like professionals; their acting chops are just as good as their skating skills.

The universal want to belong is well captured in the film and is relevant to all movie goers. It is heartwarming, tense, funny, and raw, which allows it to perfectly embody what growing up is like for many of us. For those who enjoyed films or shows such as Lady Bird, Dope, or Freaks and Geeks, Mid90s is a must see comedy-drama.