AndersonVision Best Films of 2017: #6 – BRIGSBY BEAR (Sony Pictures Classics)


“Brigsby Bear” is the flip side of “The Disaster Artist”. Hang in there with me. While “The Disaster Artist” celebrated in mining oddity, “Brigsby Bear” tries to find stability in the bizarre garbage that dominates our lives. Building out of a child kidnapping, SNL star Kyle Mooney and his cohorts made a film about guerilla film making as a means of therapy. Yet, it also serves as this weird look at the power of nostalgia mixed with 80s kid aesthetic. But, what does it all mean?

Look at Mark Hamill. Not “The Last Jedi” PTSD Gandalf styled Mark Hamill. When Mark Hamill comes into this film, he starts as the all-seeing creator of Brigsby Bear and then becomes the incarcerated faux father. When the film looks at parental guidance, it’s through the eyes of caustic sweetness. When our lead character James (Kyle Mooney) is rescued, nobody knows what to do with him. His parents kinda moved and had another kid, while his faux parents are now locked up for the rest of their lives.

From detectives to parents to Professional Mental Therapist Claire Danes, they all treat with James with kid gloves. It’s not James’ fault he was kidnapped as a baby and raised on a steady diet of seclusion and the Brigsby Bear show. The fact that he’s not played as a resentful creep is refreshing. All he wants to do is finish the show that never got to end correctly. The fact that he wants to share that experience with the outside world shows an amazing amount of progress.

Naturally, Claire Danes wants to throw him in the nuthouse. For as much as 2017 has been the year of the trash person, Brigsby Bear shows that there is light in the face of any terrible event. I miss having movies like this in the world. Embrace the oddity and the positive flow that comes along with it. Score one for the Good Neighbor team.


  • 1 hr and 37 minutes
  • PG-13
  • Sony Pictures Classics


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