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Hesher [Celluloid Hero]


Hesher (2010)


Once again, I subject myself to another sad movie. “Hesher” focuses on a young boy, TJ and his father, while they cope with the sudden death of their mother/wife. They’ve moved in with TJ’s grandmother, and neither one seems to be able to take the first step forward to move on.

Enter Hesher. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the seemingly-sociopathic metalhead who comes into TJ’s life without asking. He drinks, he smokes, he gets high, he is very violent. Somehow, he always manages to escape without getting in trouble.

I’ve seen movies where a “lovable loser” shakes things up for a family (What About Bob?, for example), but in this case it was much heavier, much darker. Hesher’s actions are crazy but not in a charming way.

I don’t know exactly how I felt after watching this. I think the entire cast (JGL, Rainn Wilson, Devin Brochu, Piper Laurie, and Natalie Portman) were excellent, but I still never felt any connection to any of the characters they played. I feel like many moments were just trying too hard, trying too hard to be “out there”, trying too hard to be nihilistic, then trying too hard to wrap things up with a sense of revelation.


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On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, “Hesher” gets a 5 out of 10.

[Each week, Varacchi explores cinema from his own perspective. From indie to foreign to mainstream, he’ll watch it all. Suggestions and recommendations are welcome, leave a comment below. CLICK HERE for the Celluloid Hero archives]

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