Tuesday, August 15, 2006

But does the movie suck?

As we sat down on Sunday evening to watch Thumbsucker, Wife said, "I think I'm going to be disappointed." This was another one of her picks, which generally are better than mine, it must be said. However, she had chosen it almost exclusively for the reason that it had an Elliott Smith soundtrack. To be honest, though, that's as good a reason as any, Elliott being quite so great a songwriter as he is.

Entirely gratuitous still of half-naked girls that has
very little to do with the movie's plot


The only things I knew about Thumbsucker in advance of watching it were:
1. The soundtrack thing previously mentioned;
2. That it had in the lead role the young lad who played the lead in Green Day's "Jesus of Suburbia" video (a good reason for Camie to watch it); and
3. That I might feel a connection since I, too, was a thumbsucker up until about the age of 12.

So down we sat. Pressed play. Up come the opening titles. The cast list other than the young laddy (Lou Pucci) previously mentioned surprised us both: Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Keanu Reeeves, Benjamin Bratt, Vince Vaughan. To some extent, these are all actors who I have some respect for. Yes, even Keanu, who I think is a great comedic talent, even if he ain't all that as an actor actor.

The synopsis: This is a low-key, American, independent movie. It explores the interplay within a family, as well as that family's relationships with other people: girlfriends, school friends, teachers. It's a coming-of-age film of sorts, yes, but also a quirky tale of teenage life. And the story of a normal, not-entirely happy, not-entirely unhappy family. Really, the sort of environment that is familiar to all of us, I'd imagine.

The review: What can I say? Pucci is great in the lead role (even if I have doubts about how convincing he was as a thumbsucker); Keanu is a gem as the kid's idealistic orthodontist; and the supporting cast present some of their finest work, in my humble opinion. The only surprise here is that this is the first feature by the director, who handles the whole thing superbly. Check out Wife's opinion, too, if you like.

The score: This is one of the best films I've seen in quite a while. Well worth 90 minutes of your time. I give it 75 out of 100.

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12 Comments:

Blogger ~ erika gabrielle said...

Thanks for the (belated) birthday greeting and the *who cares* thing you said about my weight! hahaha!

I suggest you watch Rushmore, this 1998-year movie wherein Jason Schwartzman (drummer of Phantom Planet) played this really cool quirky lead character, Max Fischer. This movie had lots of nominations and awards, too, I read..and also, most critics liked the movie's soundtrack.

For more info, check out this page: http://imdb.com/title/tt0128445/

As for Thumbsucker, i'll try to get a copy of it and its soundtrack. :)

hope all's well!

i'm getting by the blues. =)

15 August, 2006 14:10  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Hey there, Erika! Glad things are picking up for you. Just so you know, I love Rushmore. Here's an extract of a review I wrote back in May 2000:

"Wes Anderson's Rushmore is a modern classic. In fact, it is possibly one of the best fifty films ever made, and it gets better with every viewing. The photography is fantastic, the screenplay a delight, and the acting totally draws you in to this rather bizarre school-days tale, especially the performances of the young lead Jason Schwartzman (in his first role) and veteran comedy actor Bill Murray in what must be his best role. Try to get your hands on the absolutely stunning Criterion Collection R1 disc."

Wife also has the soundtrack CD here. In fact, the Criterion disc of Rushmore we have is hers, too.

15 August, 2006 14:23  
Blogger Suze said...

Yet another film I hadn't heard of until I visited you. I'm really getting a back log of films I need to see.

Thanks for the great review. :)

15 August, 2006 14:46  
Blogger Camie Vog said...

Huh? What? A Lou Pucci Movie?!? Okay, I just added it to my Netflix queue. It's next in line, bumping Crash down a slot (again...I swear I'll never see Crash).
I was watching "Upside of Anger" on cable yesterday. Terrible movie, only watched it to see the Ann Arbor references. Discovered that the girl who was in the GD video "Wake me up when Sept. ends" was in this movie.

Did you really suck your thumb until 12?? Are your front teeth all goofey? Just wondering... How did you break the habit?

15 August, 2006 14:47  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Suze: By the way, that film Secret Things that I reviewed a wee while back (see my drop-down menu if you don't remember; you asked if the sex was any good...), it's on Film Four on Friday night, so you can see it for free!

Camie: Crash ain't all that anyway. Evan Rachel Wood, for that is her name, is also in the very good film Thirteen. Check it out. Also in the cool video for the Bright Eyes song At The Bottom Of Everything, with Brit megastar Terence Stamp.

15 August, 2006 14:52  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Camie: Oh yeah, the thumbsucking: Yep; and I just decided I was getting a bit old for it, so I went cold turkey. Teeth aren't so bad (y'know, for an Englishman ;-P ), but thumb is a bit shrunken... Word of warning: If people don't want things to shrink, they shouldn't go getting them sucked.

15 August, 2006 19:15  
Blogger Will said...

Haven't heard of it, sounds interesting. I particularly like picturing Keanu's face as he thinks to himself: "Idealistic orthodontist? Yeah, I can do that."

15 August, 2006 20:36  
Blogger Adam said...

Glad you liked Thumbsucker - it's a great, brilliant film eh?

Also, your warning of things shrinking when sucked on alarms me... :/

15 August, 2006 21:44  
Blogger Gentleman-hobbs said...

Think I might go and see this. Better take one of me olders and betters with me

15 August, 2006 23:11  
Blogger Sue Ellen Mischke said...

I saw it. I think it was Keanu's best performance. I went in with no expectations and was pleasantly surprise. A little oddball, but good.

16 August, 2006 05:14  
Blogger Wendy Ann Edwina D'Cunha e Pereira said...

Hello there.... I'm a regular visitor at Red's blog. Kind of stumbled into yours when I realised you must be the husband...

Interesting to read 2 sides of a coin.... What he thinks & she thinks...

Well I'm not too sure if & when I'll get to watch the movie... But I kind of like Keanu Reeves. Let's see when our local library features it...

Just one question... Is it a happy /sad / wierd ending... I have this horrible habit of thinking of a movie & it's ending long after it's been watched. Sad kind of makes me sad.... Wierd, I avoid....

16 August, 2006 06:57  
Blogger Spangly Princess said...

sounds interesting, I'll try to get hold of it

16 August, 2006 19:14  

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