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
I saw "Hesher" at Sundance and your review is so far off the mark it is unbelievable. "Hesher" IS very original and very funny. It will also leave a lump in your throat. Believe me, I saw 12 films at Sundance and "Hesher" was far and away the best. Perhaps your reviewer was confused because "Hesher" is really both funny and serious and a clever script nails it on both counts. From the first frame until the ending, there is not one dull moment and the cast is fabulous. At first, the character "Hesher" is sort of not likable but the way that Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays him, with a ' Cary Grant-ish' twinkle in his eye and his tongue placed firmly in his cheek, you can't help but cheer for this twisted rocker. The rest of the cast is a really great ensemble...you want ORIGINAL! They are all playing "against type." Besides Joseph Gordon-Levitt's captivating performance there is Natalie Portman, playing a homely looser without self esteem. She is so good you would never dream that this poor thing is a major movie star. Then there is Rainn Wilson playing a part so totally different than his 'Dwight Schroot' on the 'Office" that, with the beard he wears, most people will not even know it's him. He plays a man that is so devistated by his recent loss that he hasn't really decided if he wants to keep on living or not. A wonderfully touching performance by an actor known mainly as a doofus on a TV show. Devin Brochu, who plays the young boy T.J., doesn't seem like he's acting at all. A great job of directing by Spencer Susser is evident by the way he has molded this young actor, with very little experience, into a character who's pain you can feel. Lastly, kudos are in order for Piper Laurie, the attractive young leading lady of yore (she played Paul Newman's girlfriend in the "Hustler") and more recently was the witch of a mother in "Carrie", who makes the grandmother who is slowly loosing her marbles, a great friend and confidant of Hesher. The two of them, the near-Alzheimerland grandma and the wild and crazy (like a fox) Hesher are two very unlikely philosophers that have not been seen before in any film that I recall. If that is not an ORIGINAL concept I don't know what is! My suggestion: have your reviewer see it again, this time with his or her eyes OPEN. Otherwise, you will be missing one of the best films of this or any year.
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