The Duplass brothers are back with their singular knack: treating us to a tingling, irresistible experience of utter discomfort—suffused with pathos, romance, irony, and a little dollop of horror. This time they intrepidly mine Oedipal terrain to wrestle with stirring, profound questions about the obstacles to human intimacy.
Alone and acutely depressed, having just learned of his ex-wife’s wedding plans, John can’t believe his luck when he encounters beautiful, charming Molly at a party. The two get along famously and launch a passionate affair, until Molly’s 21-year-old son, Cyrus, enters the scene. Will Molly and Cyrus’s deep and idiosyncratic bond leave room for John?
Cyrus becomes a dark, poignant, sometimes hilarious war dance as Molly, Cyrus, and John walk the line between creepy and sympathetic. Each member of this awkward triangle teeters somewhere between bare honesty and furtive manipulation as he or she lets loose all manner of dysfunctionality. The excruciating, delightful fun is seeing where the boundaries ultimately land. (Mubi)
The Observer, Sunday 12 September 2010
Above (l-r): Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, John C Reilly and Catherine Keener in Cyrus. Photograph: FoxSearch/ Everett / Rex Features
The Duplass brothers made a certain impression a few years back with a rambling road movie, The Puffy Chair, an exercise in the genre of talkative, semi-improvised, ultra-low-budget American independent pictures that was wittily dubbed “mumblecore” by Eric Masunaga, a sound engineer who’d worked on several of them.
Now the Duplasses have come to Hollywood with a reasonable budget and a strong cast provided by two brothers who work at the opposite end of the industrial spectrum, Ridley and Tony Scott.
The result is the oddly touching Cyrus, starring plug-ugly character actor John C Reilly as a sad, long-divorced, freelance book editor. His considerate ex-wife (Catherine Keener) takes him to a party, hoping he’ll find a girl and he hooks up with the attractive, sweet-naturedMarisa Tomei. But it transpires she has an overweight 21-year-old son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill, hitherto the star of gross Judd Apatow comedies), a possessive, childlike musician who sets out to provide impediments to the true love between his mother and this intruder.
The Duplasses’ technical clumsiness is clearly a badge of authenticity and their well-acted movie is affecting and truthful.
With John’s social life at a standstill and his ex-wife about to get remarried, a down on his luck divorcé finally meets the woman of his dreams, only to discover she has another man in her life – her son. Still single seven years after the breakup of his marriage, John has all but given up on romance. But at the urging of his ex-wife and best friend Jamie, John grudgingly agrees to join her and her fiancé Tim at a party. To his and everyone else’s surprise, he actually manages to meet someone: the gorgeous and spirited Molly. Their chemistry is immediate. The relationship takes off quickly but Molly is oddly reluctant to take the relationship beyond John’s house. Perplexed, he follows her home and discovers the other man in Molly’s life: her son, Cyrus. A 21-year-old new age musician, Cyrus is his mom’s best friend and shares an unconventional relationship with her. Cyrus will go to any lengths to protect Molly and is definitely not ready to share her with anyone, especially John. …(Imdb)