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Friday, September 23, 2005

Call On Your Power Animal

Went and saw Mike Mills' (not the bassplayer from R.E.M., jackass) film Thumbsucker Wednesday night. It included a Q&A with the man himself, Mr. Mills. For those unaware or unlucky enough not to have heard me or my wife rave about this man's genius (he directed Air's first three videos 'Sexy Boy', 'Kelly Watch The Stars' and 'All I Need' and also made a brilliant short film about SoCal suburbia called 'The Architecture of Reassurance'), this was Mike's feature film debut and a highly anticipated one in my household.

He did not disappoint. At times sad, uplifting, funny and prophetic, Thumbsucker is an incredible slice of suburban life, comfortably attacking issues like drugging kids, failed adults vicariously living through their children and teenage lust fantasies with the hand of a seasoned professional. It's a movie that can simultaneously rip your heart out and make you laugh like an idiot at the same time.

The acting in the movie is nothing short of brilliant by everyone. Keanu Reeves, who I usually can't stand, actually ACTED for the first time in his career. You would never know it was Ted. No 'I Am an FBI agent, dude' lines in this movie at all. That, and anyone who's on the fence about Vince Vaughn should check this out too. His character is hilarious while at the same time seeming very real. That, and Lou Pucci and Kelli Garner give two of the breakout perforances of the year.

The Q&A afterwards didn't necessarily add a whole lot. The film was quite complete as it was, so it was just the usual drama geeks and completely insane people asking questions (one lady spent a good 10 minutes going on a diatribe about how Keanu Reeves needs alcohol counseling and she knows this because she was born the day River Phoenix died and then started rambling about the year 1100 or something. When the audience booed her off, she delivered a predictable, "Boo Yourself!").

But back to the point. Go see Thumbsucker. It's good.



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