Justin is a teenager boy, who has an oral obsession with his thumb. His mother seems to be a normal housekeeper, but she has her own obsessions as well, like a crush on a TV-star. The only person who's aware of Justin's problem is his father, manager in a store, but none of his advices seem to be working for Justin. The kid is signed up in a debate workshop, but the thing isn't going well, because he has his mind in a pretty classmate and, of course, in his thumb, affecting all the rest of his classes. So, Justin is a loner kid in the school, who prefers to lock himself in the bathroom and suck his thumb. Justin's dentist, a mystical-hippie person, will try to help to overcome his thumb problem, through the hypnosis. But the school's psychologist will diagnose Justin with the Attention Deficit Disorder, and will prescribe him some drugs. Suddenly, Justin's problem with his thumb will disappear, becoming an hyperactive genius, winning several debate contests and the admiration from his... Written by
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"Thumbsucker" plays around with all the indie habits
It might seem strange at first to say independent film has become mildly formulaic, but it's slightly true. The salvation, however, comes in the form of originality. "Thumbsucker" has a lot of both and the result is a satisfying but not overly empowering movie.
"Thumbsucker" pulls together a cast that is no doubt impressive. There's everyone from mainstream actors like Vince Vaughn and Keanu Reeves to not as marquee but respected talents like Tilda Swinton and Benjamin Bratt. Most of the characters are very original and interesting which seems to either result in great success or a lapse in identification with the story. For example, the father, played by Vincent D'Onfrio seems to have a little to no parenting skills and while it makes an interesting character, it's a bit discomforting to be at peace with a character like that actually possibly existing.
The biggest Indie flaw is that there seems to be no thematic direction in the film. The ideas in the film are broad and precisely what the writer and even director are commenting on is too hard to pinpoint and the story unfolds. There is the thumbsucking habit, but there is also drug issues, fidelity, etc. It's not that there is no message, it simply takes more work to decode--the plot does not suggest to the viewer what things should be considered thematically. It takes some serious thinking to link all the many happenings in the film together.
There are some really great moments and characters going on in "Thumbsucker," but as a whole there doesn't seem to be a specific motion to the film and it loses some of the charm that many family-centered indies often provide.
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