Last summer I was able to see two wonderful independent films, Sing Street and Swiss Army Man, that wound up in my top five films of the year. I was thinking about both of those films while I was watching Brigsby Bear because I had very similar feeling with this movie. It was tremendous.
I am not sure how to proceed with this review without spoiling the movie and I do believe the fact that I went into the theater with almost no knowledge of what the film was about and I think that really helped with my enjoyment of Brigsby Bear.
James (Kyle Mooney) is the biggest fan of the series Brigsby Bear Adventures, a show that he grew up watching and that helped to form his moral compass. When his entire world changed and his show went away, he decided to finish the story of Brigsby Bear himself.
Kyle Mooney is amazing as James. He was one of the most original characters in a movie this year. His innocence was charming and engaging. Mark Hammill is his normal awesomeness as James’s father, Ted. There was also a fun appearance by Greg Kinnear as Detective Vogel.
There is a twist in the plot that happens early in the movie that really shifts the perception of the movie. You think you are going to be going in one direction with these characters in this setting and then the rug gets pulled out from underneath James and the audience. It was unexpected and it became something even more.
It would have been easy for the film to take James in a certain, typical way but the movie avoids the cliches with him. He is sweet and he develops throughout the story.
There was a feeling of magic in this story. By the third act of Brigsby Bear, I was fully entwined in the movie and emotionally connected to the characters. There is so much heart in the film and it made me happy. There were some funny moments too with its clever script.
Just like Sing Street and Swiss Army Man, Brigsby Bear has not found a large nationwide release. It is difficult to find it in the theaters, but Brigsby Bear is definitely worth the effort. It is one of my favorite movies of the year and is perhaps the most charming one of the year.