Preview by: Jack Foley
FOLLOWING on from last week's preview of The
Chumscrubber, we take a look at another obscurely named film
to feature prominently at this year's Sundance Film Festival -
The film, written and directed by Mike Mills, and based on the
novel by Walter Kirn, takes an extraordinary cast and turns it
into an absorbing, character-driven fairytale.
The cast in question includes Keanu Reeves (as a orthodontist!),
Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Benjamin Bratt, Kelli Garner
and Vince Vaughn, as well as Lou Pucci as the eponymous thumbsucker
Pucci plays Justin Cobb, a bright but awkward high-school teen,
who is addicted to his thumb.
He wants to quit, but nothing seems to work - not even putting
ink on his thumb, or hypnosis from his New Age orthodontist.
Eventually, Justin turns to medication,
against the advice of his mother, but finds they begin to work,
prompting people to question whether they really were the answer,
or simply a more acceptable form of pacification.
According to the Sundance website, the strong ensemble cast contribute
magnificent performances to 'a modern-day fairy tale filled with
humor, charm and fragile love'.
Mills is also praised for his cinematography, which lends the
film an ethereal aesthetic.
He is an acclaimed graphic artist and music-video director, who
previously appeared at Sundance, in 2000, with his acclaimed short,
Architecture of Reassurance.
According to Sundance scribe, Trevor Gorth, however, 'with his
feature debut, Mills delivers on his unlimited potential, displaying
an amazing cinematic dexterity combined with an acute insight
into the human condition to produce a visually stunning and thought-provoking
portrait of addiction-rooted in suburbia, but relevant to everyone'.
Given the strong line-up the film was able to attract in casting,
it will probably come as little surprise to find that Lost in
Translation star, Scarlett Johansson was also approached for the
role eventually occupied by Kelli Garner (who is fast making a
name for herself off the back of roles in The
Aviator, Love Liza and Bully).