From “Unexepected Brigsby Admiration,” posted on 5.25.17: This is a little film, made by three childhood pals (director Dave McCary, co-writer and star Kyle Mooney, co-writer Kevin Costello), that really believes in its own alchemy, and particularly in dorkiness, hip-pocket filmmaking, piles of VHS tapes, geek dreams and deliriously cheesy visual effects.
Brigsby Bear develops its own realm and attitude, but influence-wise is basically a mixture of Room, Michael Gondry‘s Be Kind Rewind, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and the twee sensibility of Wes Anderson (and particularly that of Moonrise Kingdom).
Sony Classics is opening Brigsby Bear stateside on 7.28. The costars are Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Greg Kinnear, Andy Samberg, Matt Walsh, Michaela Watkins and SNL‘s Beck Bennett (i.e., Vladimir Putin).
Brigsby Bear espouses a belief in clinging to adolescent dreams and oddball weirdnesses as a way of keeping reality at bay. It doesn’t advance the idea that integrating into “normal” society is a particularly good thing — it insists, in fact, that normal realms are healthier, happier places if they understand and celebrate outsider sensibilities, and that feeding and sustaining obsessional realms is actually a recipe for emotional health. Or something like that.
Brigsby Bear isn’t about going for breakneck hilarity or building up a head of steam, but it does understand itself, and it sticks to that. It has a certain patch of ground that it proudly owns, and you either get that or you don’t. Again — I’m the farthest thing from a geek type or any kind of pre-indoctrinated member of the Brigsby Bear society, but I got this film. I went in with a guarded attitude, but I had a smile going by evening’s end.