NZIFF Review: The Skeleton Twins
It's off to the deep dark world of indie for this emotionally rich piece about a pair of estranged siblings, whose concurrent suicide attempts brings them back together.
In The Skeleton Twins, Kristen Wiig is Maggie, a dental hygienist , married to Luke Wilson's Lance, a loveable guy who clearly dotes on his wife and the idea of becoming a father. But unbeknownst to him, Maggie's wrestling with some big secrets behind the veneer of suburbia.
Into their lives comes Milo (Hader), unhappy and suicidal - his initial attempt forms one of the starkest images of the film as red blood seeps up through clear water in an opening shocker.
As the two gradually open up to each other after years apart, the bonds are re-strengthened and tested once again in this darkly tragic yet bittersweet piece.
Hader and Wiig have great comedic chemistry together and comedic timing (as shown in a lip synching sequence) but also have dramatic depth as the emotions start to rain down.
Director Luke Johnson drives the film well, juggling a sensitive line between dark and deliciously funny as the lies we often tell to each other are exposed. But there's an air of sadness that hangs heavy on The Skeleton Twins that's inescapable (aside from a depressingly cliched Hollywood and improbable ending that sours the experience) and provides fertile ground to explore the relationships.
Poignant, warm, effective and heartbreaking, indie The Skeleton Twins provides hidden depths to these comedic actors and delivers a uniquely skewed view on life that feels all too real and engaging. You could say there's some dramatic meat on these here bones...