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Posted October 1, 2010
Mike Mills has made his mark directing his first feature film.
I found “ThumbSucker” to be an emotionally honest film, but not tedious as the film looks for some outlandish opportunities thankfully. It seems a pretty confident debut for someone working with "big" names: Keanu's unorthodox orthodontist, Vincent D'Onofrio as a self-silencing sort with a hint Donald Sutherland maybe, Vince Vaughan still funny without banging on the funny bone and Tilda Swinton delivers a performance both lucid and opaque. Lastly Lou Pucci in the middle of it all with an earnest innocence that doesn't feel vapid. He works as an EveryBoy for me, plus the way his looks mimic Swintons (and the younger boy's mimic D'Onofrio I wonder if that was conscious casting??) There are some great lines in this film, two by Swinton in a pivotal scene, and actually Benjamin Bratt reveals those to us. D'Onofrio also says something like "I'm just getting used to you" at a crucial point, and that captures the sad fleeting nature of being a parent with doubt. Aside from parents, I also loved the dialog with the younger brother at the end of the film a nice solipsism shattering scene, and probably one beloved by younger siblings the world round. And the three stages of Keanu are both funny and illuminating. The film may be a little slow to find itself, and on the commentary there was some conversation about how taboo thumbsucking is, so perhaps that has something to do with my initial reaction? Maybe thumbsucking is such a strong but subjugated symbol of mother-love, or a sort of surreally sensual one?? The film is lifted by humor (when not always expected, Vaughan applying mascara to a debate débutante, he must of ad-libbed that??!?), yet the film is also riveted by relaxed-yet-focused performances by *everyone* (again a testament to Mike Mills the director). I do have to give a hand (or a thumb for that matter) to Lou Pucci who does a formidable job in his acting debut as Justin the Thumbsucker. He does have a bright future ahead of him if he keeps it up and of course Vaughn lick this thumb just enough for me to give this film 4 stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.