Cyrus Review

Playing at the Qwanlin Cinema this Sunday and Monday is Cyrus, the second-last in this season’s Art Film Series.

Featured in its cast are John C. Reilly, Marissa Tomei, Catherine Keener and Jonah Hill. Together, Tomei, Hill and Reilly form an Oedipal sort of love triangle, as they play a sweet-natured divorced mother, her emotionally stunted 21-year-old son, and the romantic interest who comes between them.

Freelance book editor John (Reilly) has been divorced from his ex-wife Jamie (Catherine Keener) for seven years, and it doesn’t look as if he has any romantic prospects in sight.

His relationship with Jamie is still amicable, and it’s in this spirit that she invites John to accompany her and her current beau to a party, in hopes that he’ll meet up with someone.

Miraculously, he does. It’s when he’s gotten roaring drunk and is urinating in the bushes that Molly (Tomei) comes across him, finds his sad-sack mannerisms appealing, and the two commence a relationship.

One thing leads to another, and it’s not until the two end up in bed that John discovers Molly has been hiding a secret from him, namely Cyrus.

On the surface, it appears that the interrelationship between John and Cyrus is all smiles and bliss, but it soon becomes apparent that Cyrus has a pronounced preoccupation with his gorgeous mother, to put it mildly.

For her part, Molly is oblivious to the possessiveness of her home-schooled son. Her suitor, on the other hand, quickly picks up on what’s going down with Cyrus, and is not prepared in the least to step aside for him.

What follows is a covert battle between the two for Molly’s affections. In many ways, the relationship that’s developed between John and ex-wife Jamie, who have never been able to emotionally let go of each other after seven years, is mirrored in the relationship between Cyrus and Molly.

He’s an overgrown man-child who has never made the separation between himself and his mom, and the naïve Molly has never really caught on to his manipulations.

Cyrus is ostensibly a comedy, but its overlayers of implied incest render it a lot deeper than its surface suggests. The casting is superb, with John C. Reilly’s craggy countenance, which hasn’t been seen much on-screen since Step-Brothers and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, utilized to its best advantage.

It’s also refreshing to see the return of Tomei, who also hasn’t been featured in any films since 2008’sThe Wrestler. Keener, for her part, was also featured in last week’s Arts Film Please Give, while Hill recently starred in Get Him To The Greek.

An excellent cast, a quirky plot, and a twisted relationship all make Cyrus definitely worth a look.

Cyrus plays Sunday, October 17 at 5:00pm and Monday, October 18 at 7:00 pm at the Qwanlin Cinema, and is rated R for nudity and sexual situations.

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