The sole aspect of Other People that fails to convince is a group display of grief. However, through repetition this moment intelligently bookends the film and becomes symptomatic of the movie’s disparate definitive tones of monstrous black humour and raw emotion. Of course, the transitions from one to the other can be jarring, but they are justified as part of a realistic portrait of people trying to deal with painful experiences.
Jesse Plemons gives a heroic and empathetic lead performance – we feel his anger, his sadness and his frustration acutely. Meanwhile, Maude Apatow steps up from director’s-daughter cameos with poise.
Cancer movies may be old hat, but Other People offers more than such a label implies; cathartic documentation of a year in David’s life, a beautiful tribute to mother-son bonds from Plemons, and an upsettingly credible Shannon.
CAST: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Maude Apatow, Bradley Whitford, June Squibb
DIRECTOR: Chris Kelly
WRITER: Chris Kelly
SYNOPSIS: A struggling comedy writer, fresh off a breakup and in the midst of the worst year of his life, returns to Sacramento to care for his dying mother.