Suicidal Tendencies

The Skeleton Twins

skeleton_twins

Director: Craig Johnson

Cast: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook, Joanna Gleason

Milo decides that life is too much for him and writes a rather lame suicide note, then switching the music up, intends on slitting his wrists in a hot bath. Very melodramatic!

So begins director Craig Johnson poignant and brilliantly acted film, The Skeleton Twins, which whilst dealing with serious issues such as teenage trauma, abuse, suicide and adultery, transforms into a polished film with a sparkling on screen chemistry between twins Milo, a gay slightly hysterical but very witty guy and his confused and equally emotionally messed up sibling Maggie, wonderfully played by Kristen Wiig (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues).

It is this pure onscreen energy between Wiig and the hilarious Bill Hader who both make The Skeleton Twins so watchable, their angst so believable and the narrative arc of their characters so credible. With a superb script by Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman of Black Swan fame, The Skeleton Twins delves into a serious messed up and slightly kooky sibling relationship, not to mention rivalry based on emotional blackmail and a prickly sense of childhood abandonment which haunts the twins.

Milo after his unsuccessful suicide attempt has to be looked after by his twin sister Marg, (Kristen Wiig) and so he enters into a seemingly stable dynamic of middle class suburbia and discrupts all relationship surrounding him both intentionally and in that sort of bitchy way, which only a failed gay actor could do. Mainly the relationship between Maggie and her husband, Lance, a real macho man played by Luke Wilson is certainly dicey as they are trying to get pregnant. Except that Maggie has fallen for her Australian scuba diving instructor Billy played by Boyd Holbrook (Milk, Gone Girl).

Even the entrance of their mother, a Colorado spiritualist, played by Joanna Gleeson (Last Vegas) does little to disperse the shimmering tensions and anxiety between the twins.

All the drama and so called skeletons come out on Halloween as Maggie discovers the real reason why Milo is happily ensconced with her and Lance in middle class suburbia, while Milo, in full drag, forces his sister to confront the childhood trauma of their father’s suicide which is alluded to by shots of skeleton key rings falling to the bottom of a swimming pool.

The Skeleton Twins is a witty, sassy and cleverly plotted film, expertly directed by Johnson and superbly acted by Wiig and Hader, whose previous professional comic collaboration on Saturday Night Live clearly shines through. Highly recommended viewing as an intelligent comedy drama in the vein of Juno, Little Miss Sunshine and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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