T.J., a high school freshman, lost his mother two months before in a car accident: his father pops pills and sits on the couch; his grandmother holds things together, chatting and cooking. T.J. wants the car back from the salvage yard where the owner's son is a bully. By happenstance, Hesher, a foul-mouthed squatter, moves in with T.J's family. T.J. also meets Nicole, a grocery clerk near poverty who helps him once. Hesher involves T.J. in crime, the bully is omnipresent, mom's car is slipping away, dad has checked out, T.J. watches Nicole at work, and his grandma invites him to join her morning walk: the odds are long that T.J. can assemble a family to help him thrive. Written by
Elephants make several appearances in the film. Rainn Wilson's character is watching a TV show about elephants and we hear them in the background, the car dealership has a large pink elephant on the roof and beside t.j's bed there is a figurine of another elephant. See more »
TJ's cast in the opening scene switches between his left and right arm between shots. See more »
Dark. Very, very dark, and profane, and vulgar, and raw, and rough, and funny and sacrilegious and did I mention vulgar. But I loved it! It's real life. This film yields one the most interesting discussions about how God is speaking through films. A fracked-up family. A pryomaniacal, head-banging, angel of death. A sweet and sexy grocery clerk. And Metallica music what more do you need? This film is Psalm 88. It's a boy screaming to the heavens, "Why God? Where are You? Why don't you help me?" It's a once happy and bright life ruined by a car wreck. A mother killed. A son trying to be a man. A father dealing with depression. And a strange, reluctant "savior" that brings the family to the precipice of death; and life.
I think the greatest theme in this film comes when Hesher says he lost a (body part), but he has another one. Yes, the boy lost his mom, and his dad his wife, but they still have each other. Life is completely messed up, but we have each other.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson, Devin Brochu: beautifully acted. This film is the epitome of Beauty from Ugliness, Life from Death, Sacred from Profane.
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