Hesher Spencer Susser

Hesher Spencer Susser
Grief can be crippling. T.J. (Devin Brochu) is angry and lost after his mother dies and his father, Paul (Rain Wilson), copes by becoming a static lump of despair. Their disconnection with the living world is given a swift kick in the bollocks when an anarchistic loner shows up at their house after T.J. inadvertently brings heat down on the shack he was squatting in. Hesher (Joseph Gordon Levitt) doesn't ask for a place to crash, nor does he specifically force his way in, he just starts living there, clad in tighty-whities, doing his laundry. Covered in doodled tattoos and sporting a "fuck you" attitude, Hesher's uncouth speech and willingness to lead life by the balls slowly begin to transform the broken family. His method of supportive bullying gives T.J. the fire to fight back against a jerk bent on picking on him in school and the anger-baring confidence to talk back to his emotionally shell-shocked father. Paul is so mired in self-pitying passivity that he doesn't even respond to questionable behaviour, like Hesher finger-banging T.J.'s mashed potatoes, or some of his more invasive and aggressive outbursts. In addition to Hesher, T.J. finds an Oedipal crush and surrogate parental support, in the form of a nebbish grocery store clerk Nicole (Natalie Portman), who intervenes in some parking lot harassment and later attracts the attention of the film's frequently shirtless namesake. While all the relationships and performances are fairly well developed, serving their purpose of exploring the differing ways people retract from life and sometimes need a little help re-entering, Levitt's performance as Hesher makes the movie. He's a force of nature, a smutty, incidental philosopher who's equally comfortable menacing a man in the street for being an asshole as he is teaching grandma how to use a bong for her medical marijuana. Languid pacing and naturalistic emotional depictions, punctuated by Hesher's metal-scored hijinks, give the film a Gus Van Sant-meets-Fubar vibe. A collection of bland deleted scenes are included, along with an extremely long, but often funny, reel of outtakes, with Levitt's vile embellishment on Hesher's "Granny Killer" story taking the filth prize. Also included: behind-the-scenes footage, a sketch gallery of boobs, bush, tush, rat dick, turds, and other assorted gnarly images, a Facebook page ad, and a running tally of all the scenes interrupted by plane, or weed wacker. (Alliance)