The Ubiquity

Mid90s Movie Review

By Josephine Nadolny, Staff Writer

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On October 19, Jonah Hill debuted his new movie, Mid90s. This movie is a flash from the past, giving a glimpse into the skateboarding culture and the lives of teenagers in, you guessed it, the mid-90s.  The film has a relatable, nostalgic plot depicting the hardships of growing up along with an appreciation for the little moments life brings.

Director Jonah Hill shares his personal experience of growing up in the 1990’s, a time in which hip-hop and skate culture were the major ingredients in the mixing pot of teen identity. Skater Sunny Suljic plays the role of the main character (Stevie AKA “Sunburn”)  and encompasses all of the passion and pain of a boy transitioning from a loner to a piece of the bigger puzzle while also exploring the limits of his youth.

The film ties in some of California’s very own professional skateboarders, each with a distinct and complex role integral to Sunburn’s transition. They each emphasize the carelessness of skate culture while also representing various paths the main character could have fallen into after his purity runs its course. Mid90s is not your traditional coming-of-age movie.

Some of the story is left open-ended, signifying how fast the main character is moving away from his youth, when at times, he doesn’t need to. The relationship the main character has with this group of reckless boys reflects the relationship he has with his brother and mother back home and creates a shift in his outlook of society. From a bare-bones standpoint, the film makes you feel warm inside – not because it is a warm movie, but because the audience is shown Sunburn’s potential before he is made aware of it. His role model, Ray, played by professional skater Na-kel Smith, works ‘big bro magic’ throughout the film, offering Sunburn perspective and guidance distinct from the rest of the crass crew. Overall, Mid90s’ distinct method of delivery puts it on a pedestal similar to The Outsiders and Lords of Dogtown.

The company A24 has a very distinct method of filmmaking in most of their movies – a technique adopted by Jonah Hill for Mid90s – the use of 16 mm film. The practicality and nostalgic style of this technique fits Mid90s like a glove and is reminiscent of older movies. With a sharp, witty, and blunt delivery, a phenomenal soundtrack, and a legitimately well-executed showcasing of actual skating, Mid90s has flipped urban film on its head, and could teach a film course on showcasing the 90’s itself.

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Josephine Nadolny, Staff Writer

My name is Josephine Nadolny, but everybody calls me Josie.  I absolutely love writing, and my dream is to work for National Geographic or Vice as a journalist. ...

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Mid90s Movie Review