In time, BRIGSBY BEAR will become a cult classic.
There will be tshirts, stuffed animals, possibly even animated short films dedicated to the characters in the show-within-a-movie. But I won’t even spend 5 minutes trying a search anytime soon, because it’s highly doubtful I’d find anything.
And that’s a real shame, because BRIGSBY BEAR is an incredible movie.
I got the pleasure of seeing it without knowing anything about it beforehand, aside from the name of the film, a couple cast members, and the fact that it had a significantly positive score on Rotten Tomatoes (I believe it was 86% when I had someone check for me). So the experience for me was unlike the majority of films I’ve seen in the past 8 years of my “Film Quest”, in that I had no preconceived notions, no clips from the trailer to ruin bits of it ahead of time, no advanced notion about what the plot was about.
If you’re willing to take my word that BRIGSBY BEAR is worth seeing, then don’t read any further. Just find out if it’s playing near you, or put it on a list somewhere and seek it out on home viewing options in a few months.
You’ll be glad you did.
For those of you interested in a little bit more, I’ll try my best to do it justice.
As I sat in the otherwise COMPLETELY EMPTY THEATER HOUSE (not a single other ticket had been sold to the showing), I thought about how unique the film was, and what great choices they had made when putting it together.
BRIGSBY BEAR is essentially four parts “ROOM” (not the “so bad it’s good” film, but rather, the great film with Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, and William H. Macy), and one part “NAPOLEON DYNAMITE”. I mean that in the best way possible. Obviously ROOM is an incredible film for plenty of reasons, and most of those things apply here. As for NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, the sincerity of those characters, the heart, the slight goofiness, it all applies here as well.
I really don’t want to explain what the first act of the film was about, if you couldn’t figure it out from how I described the film as something of an amalgam of the other two films. I just want people to see it, enjoy it, embrace it. Because I think unless people go into it expecting a mindless comedy, they’ll enjoy it. The subject matter gets a little serious, and there’s lots of “feels” along the way, but there’s plenty of laughs, too.
Kyle Mooney did a great job, both with the story and as the lead actor. Mark Hamill, Greg Kinnear, heck, everybody came together to make it something great. Even Andy Samberg, who I hadn’t previously seen in a mostly serious role.
My rating: 90 out of 100
And for those of you who are interested in a more complete write-up, discussing more aspects of the film, I’m taking time here and there to update the second part of this review where I give away a bit more of the plot, but in doing so, it allows me greater freedom to talk about the things that made it such a great film.