‘C’mon C’mon’ Trailer: Joaquin Phoenix Plays the Role of a Doting Uncle to His Nephew

Joaquin Phoenix has taken on a drastically different role from his previous movie, Joker. Instead of a troubled clown, he now plays a caring uncle to his nephew in the new movie C’mon C’mon. The trailer of the movie recently debuted and the movie premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on Sep.2. A24 will release the movie in theaters.

Joaquin Phoenix in a black tux, posing in the press room at the Oscars in 2020.
Joaquin Phoenix | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

What is ‘C’mon C’mon’ about?

C’mon C’mon, according to the New York Film Festival where it is set to screen in October, is a “warm, insightful, and gratifyingly askew portrait of American family life.”

The movie revolves around Phoenix, who plays a radio journalist, Johnny, interviewing children across the U.S., documenting their opinion on an uncertain future when he is asked to look after his nephew. His sister, Viv, played by Gaby Hoffmann, has to take care of her child’s father struggling with mental health issues. As a result, she leaves her 9-year-old son, Jesse, played by Woody Norman, with Johnny.

While Johnny only thinks of his responsibility as that of a babysitter initially, he starts forming a bond with Jesse soon. The film traces their journey across LA, New York, and New Orleans as they try to find their way as a family.

As the duo travel the breadth of the country, they come to terms with many truths about their individual and collective identity.

Set in the present, the movie is black and white

The trailer of the movie runs without any dialogues but an excerpt from a book that Phoenix’s Johnny reads to his nephew. The soft black and white look of the trailer is only complimented by the mellow music, accompanying it. 

In a series of montages, the trailer takes the audience through several heartwarming moments of Johnny, Viv, and Jesse’s relationship. What starts with Johnny’s awkward meeting with his nephew slowly transitions into a deeper connection as each clip passes by. Viv’s interactions with the two men only add to the poetic portrait of their family onscreen.

The excerpt, or rather the book, that Johnny is reading to Jesse narrates the journey of life. His narrative voice flows perfectly, blending in with all the visuals, leaving Johnny and Jesse in an adorable moment in the end. Johnny is in tears reading the book and Jesse teases him about it.


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When will the movie release?

Written and directed by Mike Mills, who also directed Beginners and 20th Century Women, the movie was announced in 2019. It was shot in late 2019 and early 2020.

The movie also boasts a stellar cast with Phoenix, who is a multiple Academy Award winner, along with Emmy nominated, Hoffman, and a young breakout star in Norman. After a successful run at the Telluride Film Festival recently and an already sold-out screening at the New York Film Festival, the movie has gathered much attention. 

But not enough attention to compel the distributors to announce a release date for the film. The trailer of the movie ends with a mere, “Coming Soon” written on its sublime grey background.