The Skeleton Twins — Movie Review

Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig’s momentous onscreen chemistry makes a comeback

Roadside Attractions

Roadside Attractions

Some films rely on constant camera tricks and fabricated connection between actors in attempt to move the audience. The Skeleton Twins is not one of those films. Directed by Craig Johnson and starring Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, and Ty Burrell, The Skeleton Twins follows the story of two estranged twins; the homosexual, failed actor Milo (Hader) and the introspective, grounded, Maggie (Wiig); whom are brought together by a near-tragic event, and subsequently reconnect through their mutual emotional struggles.

A melodrama with more drama than comedy, The Skeleton Twins manages to hold a sorrowful motif while maintaining a constant witty undertone. Hader and Wiig’s momentous onscreen chemistry renders this film an astounding, realistic account of losing touch with family and reconnecting. None of this film seems to reside in the ‘silver screen’ — The relationships and situations portrayed are genuine and wholeheartedly authentic. The taboo desire between Milo and Rich (Burrell) is approached with an equal amount of doubt onscreen as it would be in real-life situations, and the questionable trust between Maggie and Lance (Wilson) is comically handled as his wholesome, ‘nice guy’ demeanor clashes with Maggie’s secretive, often promiscuous nature.

This is really a Sundance film at heart, despite being widely released and following many conventions of the drama genre. Certain flashbacks and ambiguous scenes that define the indie genre come without complete explanation, leaving a small arsenal of symbols and elements of The Skeleton Twins up for interpretation. A specific instance in Milo and Maggie’s childhood is a constantly recurring scene who’s bits and pieces find their way throughout the entire film, and while this is characteristic of many Sundance style movies, the former connection between the twins would have been illustrated more effectively if the film had flashbacks to multiple childhood memories.

Nonetheless, The Skeleton Twins is an authentic, heartrending, and witty drama that manages to showcase emotional commentary and development while also remaining cleverly amusing.

Score: B+

Released: September 12 (Wide)

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