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The Skeleton Twins

nullIt’s
challenging to make a film about suicide, and even trickier to cast two comedic
performers in the leading roles, but Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader do excellent
work in The Skeleton Twins, and director/co-writer
Craig Johnson steers the story with a sure hand.

Wiig
and Hader play a brother and sister whose childhood bond has eroded in recent
years. But when he is rescued after a suicide attempt she immediately flies
across the country to be with him and convinces him to move in with her and her
husband (Luke Wilson) in upstate New York while he heals. They try to reconnect
and patch up their broken relationship, but they both have considerable demons
to deal with…and he has some unfinished business in his old home town.   

There
is humor here, to be sure, but Johnson and co-screenwriter Mark Heyman avoid
cheap jokes and the actors play their multilayered characters honestly. The
stars are supported by a solid cast including Wilson, Ty Burrell, and all too
briefly, Joanna Gleason as the siblings’ estranged mother.

I
found The Skeleton Twins satisfying
and entertaining, and if an eleventh-hour story point stretches credulity
somewhat, I’m willing to cut the film some slack. After all, it offers rich
performances by a fine cast and two talented stars.

 

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November 2018
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