Okay, so I’ve been so busy singing the praises of the wonderful upcoming films like Breakfast on Pluto, Cache, and A History of Violence that I was going to let this one slide, insignificant and derivative and pointless as it is. But then I kept seeing those ads, and my blood started to boil…I just know that with all the hype surrounding the release of Mike Mills’s feature debut, there will be a treasure trove of smaller films that could get lost in the art-house shuffle (Côte d’Azur, Keane, Nine Lives among them). Simply put, Thumbsucker is every single wretched suburban-malaise, whiny white-kid, isn’t-it-oh-so-fucking-tough growing up movie you’ve ever seen, just slightly more lethargic and uninvolving. Save Tilda Swinton, whose dewy eyes convey a lifetime of experience, the cast is comprised of your usual preening indie stalwarts (Vincent D’Onofrio, who’s quick becoming a low-rent Pruitt Taylor Vince, mannered eye-flickers and all) and your slumming big budge stars looking for some serious indie cred (Vince Vaughn and Keanu Reeves, who is awful, awful, awful, worse than usual, even in a slight breezy joke of a role…as a New Age-y orthodontist….heh). And then there’s Berlin Best Actor-awarded Lou Pucci, who is, I suppose, okay and befuddled in the central role of the titular lost teen, even though if I had to look at his caricatured elfin face for five more minutes I was going to start pounding on the critics to either side of me. So, to refresh: Growing up is tough. Especially in the oddly sterile, slightly Mike Mills-esque music video-world of suburbia. You look for answers everywhere to those big existential questions. Try the debate team. Try sucking your thumb. Try pot. So where does this all lead to? How does one extricate himself from this small-minded stranglehold of Nowheresville, USA? Well, maybe there is one solution: Last shot (SPOILERS! SPOILERS!): The Thumbsucker runs in a slow motion dance of freedom across Times Square as the Polyphonic Spree plays on the soundtrack (for the eighth time it seems). Fade out. The End.
Noo Yawk City, skyscrapers and everythang!
Go see The Devil’s Rejects at some five dollar theater instead, if you still can.