Saturday Special: Cecil [Film]


“It’s 1996 and fourth grader Cecil Stevens (Sark Asadourian) finds himself switching to a new school after his parents (Jason London, Jenna von Oy) decide to separate. Cecil becomes fast friends with Abby (Christa Beth Campbell), a rambunctious school newspaper reporter, but gets off to a rough start when she notices that, due to his horrible lisp, he can’t pronounce his own name. So he decides to change his name to that of his hero, Michael Jordan. His whole school learns a lesson about acceptance after he and his friends start a business with the corrupt principal that sells celebrity names to kids.”


I’m just going to jump right out and say it….Cecil is an absolutely wonderful film. On the surface, it is a film geared towards children. Sure. But, on a much deeper level there is so much more to enjoy about it. It is zany, whimsical, and just whole lot of fun to watch. The production design of the entire project is absolutely magical. But, it is what is below the surface of it all that is so amazing to me. Growing up is a real pain in the proverbial ass. Especially when you feel like you are a little bit different than those around you, and aren’t quite able to understand that everybody is different and weird in their own way, and in the end none of the shit that is happening to you at the time truly matters. And beneath all of the animation and wonderful sound effects, this is the true spirit of Cecil, in my opinion. It’s not entirely a new concept per say, but I can honestly say that I have never seen the subject tackled in this manner before. The toxic home life, the ever-supporting Grandma, and the idea that true friendship should not be measured by popularity amongst your peers…it’s all there. Plus a truly terrifying antagonist who seemed only seconds away from causing actual physical harm to a handful of 10 year olds. It is seriously just such a fun flick with a wonderful message, and it should be enjoyed by people of all ages.


When it comes to performances, the adults absolutely nailed it. Jason London & Jenna von Oy do an amazing job as the parents who just can’t get over themselves to even understand what their child is going through. And Valerie Jan Parker is an inspiration as a teacher who really, really, wants to do the right thing and connect with her pupils, but ultimately could probably be found as a bitter and beaten down teacher 23 years later who is simply counting down the hours until her first glass of wine for the night. Being a student of the 90’s, and the spouse of an educator, it’s all a puzzle that unfortunately goes together quite nicely. And of course Sark Asadourian is wonderful as the titular character. He is a delight, charming, and down right adorable. But, the actor who truly blew my mind was none other that the film’s true star, the incredible Christa Beth Campbell.

To say that Christa Beth Campbell was brilliant in Cecil would be a dire understatement. Campbell showed a charisma and almost divine ability as a performer on this film. I was truly blown away with every second she was delivering dialogue or truly dissecting a scene, and I am convinced that she is destined to be a very big deal in the years to come. To posses such raw talent at such a young age is a thing that makes a prodigy. And when it comes to the world of performance, Christa has just that. Mark my words, within the next decade we are going to be seeing more and more of her, and we should all be very excited about that fact.

To wrap it all up, Spenser Fritz has written and directed something truly wonderful when it comes to his latest project, Cecil. It’s a fun, light-hearted and zany take on the real pressures of trying to find your true self, and learning to love yourself for who you truly are. In all honesty, I knew I was going to love a film about the fourth grade set in 1996, as it was specifically aimed almost directly at me, who was indeed a fourth grader in 1996. But what I walked away with after seeing this delightful film was so much more than just a feeling of nostalgia. I felt an actual physical joy after watching this film, and I am certain that everyone who migrates towards this amazing coming of age masterpiece will feel the same.


Cecil is available now on DVD and VOD wherever you stream movies. Learn more at


<p><a href=”″>Cecil</a&gt; from <a href=””>Vision Films</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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