Plot – A struggling comedy writer, fresh off a breakup and in the midst of the worst year of his life, returns to Sacramento to care for his dying mother.
Director – Chris Kelly
Released – 2016
Jesse Plemons is one of those actors who I’ve seen in supporting roles quite regularly, however, it’s only when watching his in Other People that I was able to fully appreciate just how good of an actor he has become and how allowing him to take centre stage and providing him with a strong scrip, his talent really starts to show.
Plemons portrays David a frustrated comic writer dealing with the end of a relationship, his career not taking off, his father’s refusal to accept his sexuality and now having to move back home to help his sick mother Joanne (Shannon). You can’t help but feel drawn into his tender and understated portrayal of a son whose world is crumbling around him. packing in the emotion from start to finish. There’s a vulnerability in his performance as well as the stubborn resolve as he attempts to stay strong for his mother.
While Plemons is attempting to keep his emotions in check, Shannon is free to tackle the character of a mother slowly dying of cancer head-on, a showing a strength and determination to carry on even as the disease takes its hold and she deteriorates before our eyes. She’s truly fantastic in this role and produces a wonderful chemistry with Plemons.
One of the bravest choices Kelly decides to do with Other People is showing Joannes death right at the beginning, that way as you travel right through the entire year of Joanne’s illness, you know exactly what will happen to her and makes all the intimate moments between her and the other characters all the more touching and even humorous at times. Kelly does an amazing job to balance the contrasting emotions and create a heart-wrenching and bitter-sweet story.