Brigsby Bear

Brigsby Bear

(2017)

Dramedy starring Saturday Night Live's Kyle Mooney, trying to integrate into society after decades spent being raised in isolation and on hundreds of episodes of a TV show - Brigsby Bear Adventures - that no-one else seems to have ever seen. Co-stars Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, Greg Kinnear and Matt Walsh.... More

"James (Mooney) has lived in a bunker for 25 years, completely isolated from the world. His only contact is with his parents (Mark Hamill and Jane Adams), and his only source of entertainment and education is the '80s-style television show 'Brigsby Bear Adventures'. James's life is drastically changed when he leaves the bunker and has to integrate into society: a task for which he is completely unprepared. Most disturbing of all, James can no longer watch his beloved TV show. In order to make sense of his life, James will need to bring Brigsby Bear back into it." (Sydney Film Festival)Hide

Flicks Review

“Sheltered, unconventionally-raised, man-child encounters the real world” may seem like an overworn idea, but Brigsby Bear finds fresh gold to mine, largely by avoiding unnecessary whimsy. That’s not to suggest its complete absence, especially given the adoration James Pope (Kyle Mooney) has for a long-running TV show only he’s ever seen – Brigsby Bear Adventures - and his attendant fandom that extends to bedsheets, apparel and playsets. But the film is very much on Pope’s side, rather than subjecting him to ridicule or turning him into a one-note oddball character.... More

As Pope, Mooney plausibly and endearingly navigates his way into contemporary society in three-dimensional fashion - at times calmly, at others confused, but never succumbing to the sense of victimhood his unorthodox upbringing may deserve. There’s absolutely a fish-out-of-water scenario being mined for laughs here, but throughout, the film manages to avoid exploiting Pope for our entertainment.

The largely reserved Mooney is ably backed by a supporting cast that includes a hilariously-cast Mark Hamill alongside a host of familiar faces like Claire Danes, Greg Kinnear, Matt Walsh, and Jane Adams. It says a lot about Brigsby Bear that Pope is the most fully-realised character of the bunch, accentuating his struggles to connect with “normal” people. Mooney's nuanced performance convinces as someone who essentially just views, and relates to, the wider world through a different pop culture lens to anyone else.

And what a lens - the film nails the 80s kids’ aesthetic of Brigsby Bear Adventures in a way that strongly underpins Pope’s conviction and fandom. Brimming with humour and heart, innocent without being naive, and celebrating the joy of creativity, Brigsby Bear was one of the under-sung highlights of this year’s festival circuit, and its return to cinemas deserves to be warmly welcomed.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 23 ratings, 21 reviews
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Definitely worth a watch, but not usually the kind of film that attracts my attention. A bit too...hipster? Sentimental?


BY mikaela96 wannabe

Not only do you leave the cinema singing "It's Brigsby Bear" with a feeling of triumph, but also quote the movie for a full 30minutes due to how hyper you are from seeing such a hilarious & majestical film.
"It's a shame you weren't abducted too, we could've have so much fun together"


I spent the first 15 minutes of this movie whispering to my friend "What are we watching?? This is bizarre!" But then I clicked, and the storyline became a bit clearer, and I started to really enjoy it. I'd recommend it to anyone who can appreciate awkward moments for their comedy value.


BY MariaC lister

As this movie progressed it slowly, slowly got better. An "interesting" movie is how myself and friends summed it up. It had some funny moments. It's a feel good movie.


BY Vavoon nobody

When a young man, James (Kyle Mooney) is integrated into today's modern world after living his entire life in isolation apart from kooky couple Ted (Mark Hamill) and April (Jane Adams), the only thing that keeps his transition manageable is his stimulation by, and attachment to a kids TV show called Brigsby Bear Adventures. Made weekly, educational and entertaining, the Brigsby Bear Adventures series characters are acted and voiced mainly by Ted, and the Smiles Sisters: Arielle, (whom James has... More a crush on), and Nina - hilariously played by the same girl, thrown together in some fun but budget costumes and sets with a distinct 80's feel.

When James tries to assimilate with a new family and a new world, his only point of reference is Brigsby, and he is astonished to discover he was it's only viewer and number one fan. In an effort to share his epic and intense devotion to Brigsby with the world, but encountering much resistance, he eventually manages to form some surprising allies. With his naive candour and enthusiastic immersion in the creative process you can't help but fall in love with James as he connects and unites people in his own refreshingly honest way.

Unique, inspirational and funny!Hide


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The Press Reviews

  • It's difficult not to get wrapped up in the childlike sweetness on display. The movie is incredibly funny and a little weird, but it's always endearing. Full Review

  • A charming, surprisingly underplayed paean to pop-culture obsession. Full Review

  • Best not to think about it too hard and just go along for the ride while enjoying Mooney's excellent comic timing and film's loopier notions. Full Review

  • Brigsby Bear's strongest asset (well, after the gobs of in-universe verbiage that come spilling from James' mouth) is Kyle Mooney's extraordinary performance. Full Review

  • Rather than milking the outre premise for broad comedy, everyone involved strives to keep the characters and situations grounded and warm. Full Review

  • Mooney is the main reason to see Brigsby Bear, the sort of indie dramedy that wears its on-the-spectrum quirk on its sleeve. Full Review

  • ...a gentle, pure-hearted delight of a film, with a winning idea as its core, which unassumingly impresses as one of the best films of 2017. Full Review

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