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
Natalie Portman and John Carroll Lynch previously acted together in Beautiful Girls. See more »
The cuts on TJ's face from the wrecking yard are on his left side when he falls and leaves, but he has them on his left side and they're already done scabbing and look like scars when Nicole (Natalie Portman) shows up at TJ's house the next day to apologize. See more »
What did I do to deserve this chain reaction of shit all the time?
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I feel compelled to write a review on this film, but I'm just not sure what to focus on or how to outline what I loved about it. The story is so unique, and so left of centre, that it's very hard to describe, let alone break down and review. When attempting to describe it to a friend, I found it very difficult, as it just sounds so crazy. It makes one think, how could this be that enjoyable. All I could really say was, 'you have to watch this film!', as it made me smile, laugh and connect, from opening scene to closing credits.
After seeing the trailer for this, I was immediately interested. Mainly because of the crazy, ab-lib, don't-give-a-s**t nature of Hesher, actually reminded me of a friend, and this friend's antics and philosophy on life always amuse me, and more often than not, enlighten me to how this crazy world can be, and how you really shouldn't take things so seriously. Having such excitement for an upcoming film, you can quite often be let down. Luckily for me Hesher stood up, and was everything I hoped it would be, and more.
I found the story to be simply brilliant. So random and unpredictable you never really knew where it was going, or what was going to happen next. I loved the way in which Hesher makes he's first appearance in the film, and how he somehow, without trying (so it seems), finds he's place in Grandma's home. The dialogue was simply gold and oh so funny at times, that it made me want to re-watch the film as soon as it concluded, to pick up on the quick wit and laugh all over again. The scene at the pool was definitive for me. So funny and so strange. I couldn't help but enjoy and admire the way Hesher went about things in that scene, letting himself completely go, without a fear of consequence. Acting on he's most primal impulse. Not so much in anger, but in freedom, and having fun at the expense of a few 'versatile solutions for modern living'.
Hesher is an amazing character, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is brilliant. This might sound ridiculous to some, but I think it was worthy of an award, as this is a true embodiment of a character. There is no Joseph Gordon-Levitt in this film, there's only Hesher. I haven't seen that many of Joseph's movies, but I do remember '500 Days Of Summer', and this is polar opposites as far as role is concerned, and not many actors could make such a leap, convincingly. I also became a fan of Natalie Portman after this. I love the fact she took on a role that was so different. Her character's plainness, honesty, and self-confessed faults, made her simply beautiful to watch throughout. Devin Brochu as the main boy which the story revolves around is amazing. He's level of dramatic execution is spot on in every scene, and he's so believable as TJ. The film has such rich characters, which are all played to perfection. The Grandma is also worthy of a mention, providing so much love to an otherwise somewhat tragic story.
This film manages to mix humour, sadness and heart like very few films can. Its films like this that can pick people up and put them back on their feet. It actually made me feel better about life, and less worried about the ridiculous incidentals that can make us anxious and get us down. I'm not sure how this film managed to tap into such thoughts and emotions, but somehow it did. There is no comparative circumstance in the film for me, nor is there an obvious message that everyone can relate to, it is simply a story with colourful characters, with simple lives, told in such a unique and crazy way, that for some reason you commit to it and totally embrace it, only to feel on top of the world for having done so.
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