Cyrus [Blu-Ray] Jay and Mark Duplass

Cyrus [Blu-Ray] Jay and Mark Duplass
With the popularity of The Office's awkward humour, it's surprising Cyrus didn't find a more supportive audience during its theatrical run. Jay and Mark Duplass drew top-tier acting talent to their latest picture, a story of quirky intimacy, and, consequently, had a major studio backing a humble character piece that feels as personal and independent of spirit as anything else the brothers have created. John C. Reilly plays John, a pathetic divorcee whose only friend is ex-wife Jamie (Catherine Keener). Pissing in a hedge at Jamie's engagement party, John has the tremendous fortune of attracting the attention of a woman named Molly (the ever lovely Marisa Tomei); she compliments his penis and is even more smitten by his lonely emotional ramblings, wholeheartedly identifying. A swift courtship ensues and as John pushes to get closer, he discovers Molly has a grown son living at home with whom she has an uncomfortably close relationship. The genius of Cyrus is that the Duplass brothers push the boundaries of what constitutes an acceptable mother-son relationship, but before going too far, they reveal another layer calling into question Molly and Cyrus's behaviour. It's as sweet and touching as it is sad and unsettling. Jonah Hill has never been better, demonstrating remarkable growth as a character actor. In a Fox Movie Channel feature on his character, Hill discusses finding sympathy for a character he couldn't find a way to like. Cyrus is completely socially stunted, very manipulative and a bit of a psychopath. The degree to which his behaviour is malicious is wisely left up to the viewer for much of the film, thanks to the wise cutting of one of the two deleted scenes here, with optional commentary from the directors. Outside of the main feature, the scene is worth watching for more of Hill's great performance, unlike the other deleted scene, a puppet show so weirdly shot I can't imagine how it was intended to fit into the film. A "Music Mash Up" with Jonah Hill and John C. Reilly is hilarious; Hill demonstrates Cyrus's "world electronica," laying techno loops over manipulated dialogue samples from the movie. There's a brief "Behind the Scenes at SXSW" featurette, with the Duplass brothers clearly stoked by the prestige of their programming slot. Most indicative of the brothers' personal touch, a Q&A session finds them spending as much time wrangling their adorable little daughters as covering their scripting process and how they encourage their actors to improvise to find the most genuine and intimate moments. Cyrus is a unique film, equally worthy of celebration as a smart, heartfelt look at human connections as it is for its compassionate handling of taboo comedy fodder. (Fox)