Jonah Hill’s directorial debut film, ‘Mid90s’ is spectacular!

Karen Miramontes, Staff Writer

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“Mid90s” is an edgy coming-of-age story directed and written by actor Jonah Hill, as he brings a hint of 1990s nostalgia, the skateboarding culture and a stellar cast onto the big screen that will make viewers want to pick up a skateboard and enjoy the ride.

“Mid90s” is set in the 1990s in the suburbs of Los Angeles as 13-year-old outcast Stevie, played by Sunny Suljic, searches for his identity as he comes across a community within the rebellious skateboarding subculture.

Throughout the movie, we see Stevie interact with colorful characters like Ruben, played by Gio Galicia, the kid that brings Stevie into the group; Ryder Laughlin as Fourth Grade, the skater that films the skaters tricks; first-time actor Olan Prenatt plays the thuggish clown FuckShit and Na-kel Smith as Ray, the cool yet wise skater of the group with hopes of becoming a pro.

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What was a bonus was that the cast are actual skaters outside of the movie.

Even though Stevie doesn’t skate, he is determined to prove to the group that he is as rebellious as they are.

He proves this by attempting to skate on the rooftop of a school building and you guessed it, the stunt takes a wrong turn. He ends up falling onto the concrete, leaving his head gushing with blood.

As the group manages to help Stevie with his head injury, the group recognizes that he has heart and guts and accept him into their circle.

One of his friends describes Stevie as a kid that “…takes the hardest hits.” Which seems to be an on-going theme throughout the film.

“Mid90s” is special in a way that the film features a handful of actual actors like Katherine Waterston as Dabney, Stevie’s estranged mother; Lucas Hedges as Stevie’s brother Ian who physically abuses him in most of the scenes of the movie, it focuses more on Stevie’s group of friends which have little to no acting experience.

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The real-life skaters’ acting abilities is phenomenal.

Viewers will feel connected to the characters as we learn about their troublesome background and goals, we come to understand why they all skate, it’s a way to escape the pressures of life.

Jonah Hill portrays the group of kids with affection and authenticity by letting them act as if they were actually hanging out.

Whether they’re smoking, drinking, or joking around it feels so real. It feels as if we’re just a fly on the wall throughout the whole film.

He also emphasizes the skateboarding subculture perfectly by filming on 16mm using 4:3 aspect ratio, which gave the whole film a retro vibe, making it feel as if we’re back in time in the 90s.

This movie is more than a just a skateboarding film, it is so much more than that.

It’s about a child trying to search his place in life, something we all go through, and trying to make sense of it. It’s an emotional and gut-wrenching film that deserves so much praise, I can’t wait to see what Jonah Hill and the young cast will do next!