Early in Hill’s acting career, he established a reputation for playing snarky and foul-mouthed characters, evidenced by famous roles in the 2007 films Knocked Up and Superbad. In the last decade, Hill’s performance aesthetic successfully translated to mainstream dramedies, most notably in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. With an acting résumé dating back 15 years, Hill now steps into the director’s chair with Mid90s, a Los Angeles-based film that examines the trials and tribulations of a young skateboarder, played by Sunny Suljic (who appears alongside Hill as “Skateboarder #2” in the upcoming Amazon film Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot).
Today, A24 released Mid90’s poignant first trailer, in which Suljic’s Stevie immerses himself into a skateboarding community. From the start, the dialogue — written by Hill — creates a loose atmosphere and the profanity falls in line with Hill’s best-known characters. However, this first clip focuses mostly on Stevie’s changing perspective as he makes new discoveries and slowly becomes more confident amongst his peers. For extra dramatic effect, Lady Bird’s Lucas Hedges plays Stevie’s hard-nosed brother, who inadvertently plays a role in the boy’s questionable behavior. Visually, the Mid90s trailer features some fisheye lens visuals, reminiscent of mid-90s hip-hop videos, and the music cues similarly create a throwback feel. Overall, the trailer shifts from light-hearted moments to heavy drama, suggesting that Mid90s will be more serious than coming-of-age films that made Hill a household name. You can also check out the poster below:
Alongside Suljic and Hedges, Mid90s features Katherine Waterston, an actress on the rise after major roles in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Alien: Covenant, and Logan Lucky, to name a few. Beyond the main players, Mid90s mostly consists of lesser-known performers, which perhaps allowed Hill more directorial freedom for his directorial debut. Last year, he directed a music video for Danny Brown’s “Ain’t It Funny,” and his collaboration with A24 represents a major opportunity to further establish himself as a highly-influential Hollywood figure. Mid90s was co-produced by Scott Rudin, who recently financially backed films like Isle of Dogs, Annihilation, Eighth Grade, and the upcoming The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
While it’s easy to associate Jonah Hill with stoner comedy and tunnel-vision characters, it’s clear that he’s interested in making films that somehow reflect the ups and downs of life.
- Mid90s (2018) release date: Oct 19, 2018