Skeleton Twins, The : Movie Review

Starring: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell
Available on Digital HD 2 March
Coming to DVD 16 March
Runtime: 89 minutes
Rated: 15

Bill Hader (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Kristen Wiig (Walter Mitty) have been slowly developing careers for themselves as comic actors for several years now, mostly as supporting characters. However The Skeleton Twins affords them the opportunity to be at the centre of a film. The results are very impressive. Support from Ty Burrell (under-used as an actor) Luke Wilson (over-hyped as an actor) is hit and miss respectively. Wilson does his usual average-schmo schtick to little effect whilst Burrell, given limited screen time, excels with a nuanced performance. But the film clearly belongs to Hader and Wiig who both hit new heights in their careers, with performances that finally show what accomplished actors they have no doubt always been, but had little opportunity to show so far.

Skeleton Twins, The (2014) - Movie PosterThere was a suggestion that Hader and Wiig, both well known as “Saturday Night Live” stars, would not work together well in a film. However for UK audiences who will most likely not have seen their SNL performances this is unlikely to be a problem. In fact I thought that they worked extremely well together as siblings Maggie and Milo. Their chemistry together as (estranged) brother and sister was perfect. Their ability to act in a somewhat detached manner from each other after a decade of being apart, yet at the same time retain the type of familiarity that siblings will always have with each other was spot on. They have managed here to combine humour and drama.

In an age of vapid blockbusters, reboots and mindless sequels, it’s heart-warming to watch a film that is original. You might think that a film that begins with two siblings geographically separated by hundreds of miles and emotionally estranged by a decade apart might be negative or depressing, yet it’s exactly the opposite, it’s life affirming and positive.

Winner of Best Screenplay at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, The Skeleton Twins was directed by Craig Johnson (True Adolescents) and written by Johnson and Mark Heyman (Black Swan) it is a film that I genuinely recommend as both humorous and heartfelt.

Author : Kevin Stanley