Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores the experiences of a young man rescued after years in captivity. The darker emotions are here, but that's not the focus of this film, which instead playfully keeps the audience laughing as it cleverly weaves a tale that will resonate in unexpected ways. And the fanboy-style premise makes it wonderfully timely.
This is the story of 25-year-old James (played by cowriter Kyle Mooney), who was kidnapped as an infant and raised in a bunker by Ted and April (Mark Hamill and Jane Adams), who claimed to be his parents and told him the air outside was unbreathable. Over the years, he gets his education from weekly videotape episodes of the children's show Brigsby Bear, made by Ted specifically for him. Then when he's rescued and reunited with his real parents (Matt Walsh and Michaela Watkins), they're strangers to him. As is his spiky little sister Aubrey (Ryan Simpkins). To make sense of this big new world, he gets help from a cop (Greg Kinnear) and a therapist (Claire Danes). But he longs to revisit Brigsby's world. So when Aubrey's friend Spencer (Jorge Lendeborg) shows interest in the furry character, James launches an epic plan to make a movie to bring the TV series to a conclusion.
Obviously, all of this is working as a kind of rehabilitation for James, and the film is smartly assembled to bring the audience into his quirky perspective. We've seen an episode of Brigsby, so we understand how it has charmed him with its nutty sci-fi superhero action. And it's hilarious to see James thrown into our world when his only cultural references relate to Brigsby. Meanwhile, Mooney underscores James' obsession with a bright sense of curiosity that's infectious both for the other characters in the story and for us watching it.
Continue reading: Brigsby Bear Review
When James Pope was just a baby, he was kidnapped from the hospital in which he was born. His new parents took him to live in the middle of an isolated expanse of wilderness, and refused to teach him anything about the world outside of their home and only let him watch a children's TV show called 'Brigsby Bear'. The only problem is, it has never been a real show and is merely a creation by his parents. One day, as an adult in his early 30s, he is rescued from his captors and taken out into the real world for the first time. Naturally, he is overwhelmed and confused about the nature of his new life, but nothing compares to finding out that 'Brigsby Bear' has never been a real show. However, it's the only thing he knows, so he sets out to bring the character out into the open and embarks on a filming project to create a movie of the character that shaped his entire life.
Continue: Brigsby Bear Trailer
Date of birth
4th September, 1984
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'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.