A/V Room









Thumbsucker - Preview

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 - namely, Thumbsucker.

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 in question.

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).

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