Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
A morbid undertow only sharpens the dead-on comic skills of a brilliant cast in this tale of suicidal 30-something twins coming to each other’s rescue – sort of. Bill Hader is Milo, a gay wannabe actor at the end of his rope in Los Angeles. Kristen Wiig is a dental technician in small-town NY State, married to the world’s most upbeat, understanding guy (Luke Wilson).
“If you’re going to juggle despair and humor in a story about two emotionally unstable, occasionally suicidal adult siblings who keep tripping up on the disappointments of their lives, it’s tricky to find a tone that’s neither too whiny nor too glib. But Craig Johnson’s delightful The Skeleton Twins gets it right. Warm, funny, heartfelt and even uplifting, the film is led by revelatory performances from Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, both of them exploring rewarding new dramatic range without neglecting their mad comedic skills…
As the twins renew their closeness, they also regain intuitive insight into one another’s pain and sense of failure. That makes it harder for them to avoid openness, even if friction continues to surface as we learn the cause of their estrangement. Johnson and Heyman’s script is smart enough not to trim away all the untidy edges of their damaged lives, but it points them in the right direction in a genuinely satisfying final act… The central characters may be largely defined by their melancholia and their messed-up histories, but the film is a crowd-pleasing balm. ” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter