Caught between two lives in ‘C’mon C’mon’

A scene from the film "C'mon C'mon," with Joaquin Phoenix being reflected in a glass elevator.

In “C’mon C’mon,” a monochromatic palette visually ties the journey’s underlying themes as it explores personal connections and self-discovery, where its workaholic main character Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix) reenters the lives of his sister and nephew under unusual circumstances.

Early on, cinematographer Robbie Ryan subliminally clues us in to Johnny’s state of mind and foreshadows his future in a reflective moment riding an elevator.

“Mike [Mills] loved the idea of this elevator being something quite magical in its everyday way,” says Ryan. “Those outside elevators where you can watch yourself rise up bring out a childlike wonderment. For us, it acts as a great motif for where Johnny is at in the film … traveling but imprisoned in his job, which keeps him away from his family.”