The incredibly intimate film honours Phil Stutz, one of the foremost psychiatrists in the world.
This is either the best documentary ever filmed or the worst, as said best by Phil Stutz. But let’s take a step back. A trailer for Stutz, a deeply intimate documentary that Jonah Hill directed and starred in, has been made available on Netflix. The actor known for Superbad and Don’t Look Up made the decision to create a film based on his own therapy sessions, in which he and the therapist are candid about life, choices, and psychiatry. Is it a wise decision? To find out, we’ll have to wait until mid-November.
Film is both a celebration of Stutz’s work and an autobiography
Three key elements that could turn the documentary into a hit film are shown in the Stutz trailer: It first shows off Hill and Stutz’s wonderful friendship, which is exemplified by their witty banter, which can only develop through closeness and honesty. The movie’s autobiography is also revealed in the trailer; Stutz is a renowned psychiatrist who has served patients for more than 40 years.
Last but not least, the Stutz trailer features filmmaker Hill openly admitting the experimental nature of the project and the knowledge that it might not come across as he had intended. However, it’s quite simple to understand why Hill chose to direct the film: Everyone has, at some point in their lives, looked for guidance, and sometimes friends can only go so far.
Second attempt at directing a feature film
Hill, a two-time Academy Award nominee, has already had a lot of experience directing, and Stutz is his second attempt at directing a feature film. Mid90s, a delicate coming-of-age comedy-drama that was inspired by his own youth, was his previous full-length film. Stutz is Hill’s first feature-length documentary; he has also directed music videos and TV series.
Hill has had a lot of help from his co-stars to get this film off the ground: Stutz is produced by none other than Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix (Joker: Folie à Deux), whose most unique on-screen personas have curiously sparked conversations on mental health. Rooney Mara, who is certain to be prominently recognised during the upcoming awards season for her performance in the potent drama Women Talking, is also an executive producer of the film.