2014 / Director. Craig Johnson.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Saturday Night Live alumni Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader ditch their comical personas in THE SKELETON TWINS and the result is a profoundly moving and deeply sombre drama, which explores the everlasting bond between two siblings. They play twins who have been estranged for over a decade because of a past scandal. Both are stuck in life. Both are suicidal. His failed attempt to kill himself brings them together and she asks him to move in with her. He is proudly gay yet feels stigmatised and she is settled down and married but feels trapped. Together they confide in each other and rekindle the strong bond they once had. This is a rock solid little film that maintains a level of modesty, despite the temptation to exploit its cast's comical talents. Having said that, both Wiig and Hader are given room to flex their comedic rapport and when they do, they smash it. They never overstep the mark and when they're funny, they're also heartbreaking. Director Craig Johnson clearly understands the material and pushes the storytelling in an eccentrically ernest direction. I would say that Alexander Payne and Ted Demme are clear influences on his style. Luke Wilson is also great as her oblivious, yet ever suffering, husband (gee I love that guy) and Ty Burrell embraces the opportunity to shake off his pigeonholed TV persona. THE SKELETON TWINS was a constant emotional rollercoaster. It had me laughing out loud and then with a lump in my throat moments later. It's poignant and heart wrenching honesty definitely did a number on me and I came away from feeling exhausted and elated all at once. I highly recommend this one. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are phenomenal.