Sundance Film Festival: 'Hesher'
Director Spencer Susser gets in your face with "Hesher." Teenager T.J. (the talented Devin Brochu) is suffering after losing his mother in a car accident two months ago. After being bullied all day at school, he returns home to a dysfunctional mess of a father (Rainn Wilson) who pops pills to mask his pain. T.J.’s grandmother (Piper Laurie) is the only blip of sunlight in the boy's life, but her old age restricts from really bettering the situation. In walks Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a long-haired wanderer who eventually relocates to T.J.’s garage and becomes a pseudo member of the family. Despite Hesher’s incredibly aggressive personality (at one point he throws lawn chairs into a stranger's pool before setting the diving board on fire), he cares for T.J. and the family. Even with Gordon-Levitt’s incredible transformation and a breakout performance from Brochu, "Hesher" is a film far more brash than it is endearing — and at times, that brashness seems to have just been included for shock value.