Saturday, September 09, 2006

Movie Log: Thumbsucker

I've now seen two movies since this one (I'm getting backed up on my "obligatory" posts), so my memory is a bit fuzzy. Plus, I read the book immediately after watching the movie, which is the reverse of how I usually like to do things.

Thumbsucker is yet another one of those small American indy movies with an interesting cast and a moderately high-brow pedigree (this time, it's directed by Mike Mills and from a well-regarded bildungsroman novel by Walter Kirn) about dysfunctional families. It's not absolutely wonderful, but if you like that sort of movie (and I guess I do, since I seem to gravitate to them), you'll enjoy it. Lou Taylor Pucci is good as the teenage kid at the center of the movie; this is basically the story of how he finally stops sucking his thumb at age seventeen and what he finds to take the place of that (in rough order: debate club, sex, drugs, New York City).

Keanu Reeves is remarkably good in a smaller part as the boy's dentist; from the evidence of this movie, he could have been a great character actor, instead of a ridiculously rich and famous but laughably bad leading man. (Choices, choices.)

Oh, and for those of you like me who have been puzzled: the director Mike Mills is not the same person as the R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills. I keep forgetting which guy quit R.E.M., and when, and the director Mills first popped onto the scene soon after that, so I kept thinking it was the same guy. It isn't.

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