Mark and Jay Duplass
Another one of Seinfeld’s breakthroughs was its deep focus on minutia. Rather than spending time on life’s larger mysteries, the show was content to let Kramer puzzle over just who would want a license plate that reads ASS MAN. Questions of this magnitude are a stock in trade for filmmakers Mark and Jay Duplass, although they’ve gradually gotten more curious over time. The brothers’ body of work used to be confined to the mumblecore subgenre, in which not a lot happens. With 2010’s Cyrus, though, they hit the cringe-comedy sweet spot, broadening the appeal for (slightly) wider audiences. Hopefully as their budgets and mainstream appeal increase, the brothers will maintain the balance between uncomfortable and funny, and continue to split hairs and ask the small questions.