Autobiographical films at their worst can be so literal and specific that rather than delivering something with universal appeal, instead can feel like a series of diary entries without context or worse, catharsis for the filmmaker with not much of value for the viewer. At the other end of the scale are the types of films American filmmaker Mike Mills makes. Beginners (2010) was based on Mills’s relationship to his father, the characters of 20th Century Women (2016) were inspired by his mother and sisters, and now with C’mon C’mon Mills explores becoming a father through a story about the relationship between an uncle and nephew. Each film has employed more and more artistic liberties and each film has increasingly been more and more successful in delivering insights, pathos and humour suggesting that being true to themes, intent and emotions is far more effective that directly replicating actual events.
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