More Hesher Reviews

By January 23, 2010Nat-news

Another big batch and surely more to come after it screens again today.

– Let’s start with a very positive one, from POParitaville.

Natalie Portman weighs in quietly as well adding a nice support to what is already a fantastic cast.

I always hate movies that overload us with sap and moral messages. Hesher could have many times angled to push cry buttons and rely on easy tricks to gain feeling for its characters. He avoids this and ends up with a film like no other.

Movieline do their review in the form of a FAQ. The film gets a mixed positive review but they didn’t buy Natalie at all. Be warned, the link digs into spoilers more than most.

That said, the climax is affecting in completely unexpected ways. If Susser could just rework those middle 30 minutes, or at least tamp down the whole slice-of-life, short films-glued-together feel, he might really have something.

What about her? Just another miscast role for Portman, playing ugly and on the fast track to old maid, confiding in a 13-year-old. Please. That said, you can’t help but notice the weird dynamic shift Hesher represents for her — how she used to be the young lady absorbing confessionals in Beautiful Girls or grappling with nihilism in The Professional and Heat, and today is on the flip sides of those arrangements. But that has nothing to do with the script. I just kept seeing Rachel McAdams or even — (and this would have been fun) Zooey Deschanel in her place. Portman may actually have had her finest moment before the screening, when she introduced the film in absentia.

– Next up is another very positive review from Metromix.

The impressive cast helps turn what might have been an insufferably quirky comedy into a movie with real depth and understanding, while Susser finds an impressive balance between dark comedy and downbeat drama. There’s a bit of “Where the Wild Things Are”—minus the fantasy—in the way TJ confronts difficult emotions (and heightened by how much Brochu looks like “Wild Things” star Max Records). If you found that movie too dark to handle, you’ll likely have the same reaction here. The ending is a little too tidy for a movie that appropriately mirrors the messy aftermath of a sudden death, but this is one worth seeking out for the ambitions of its storytelling and yet another stunning performance from Gordon-Levitt.

– And finally, the AV Club are also mixed on it.

I suspect some people are really going to go for Hesher though. It has a mood and a comic sensibility that will strike some folks exactly right. Myself, I found it scattershot and undisciplined. Grade: C

So two mixed and two positive. I might be very wrong but I have a feeling I’m going to really like this film.


Author Dazza

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Jenski says:

    I was with Movieline, even after they said Nat wasn’t right for the role – because she isn’t for everyone – but they lost me with their replacement suggestions: Zooey Deschanel, who only ever plays about two characters that are barely different from each other & Rachel McAdams who was the weak link in Sherlock Holmes, Wedding Crashers, Married Life, and was mediocre in almost every other role except for Mean Girls. She was charming enough in The Notebook but I think she depends way too much on her ‘charm’ and beauty.

    When I thought about Nat’s role the first actress to pop into my head was Ellen Page. An actress like that would’ve made a better substitute.

  • dazza says:

    Yeah, Page is always good for quirky “average” girl type roles. I’m glad Nat is doing something different and I’m definitely interested to see if she can pull it off. I’ve been watching Natalie for a decade (sound creepy enough?) and even I was kinda stunned with just how beautiful she looked in Brothers. So I’m not sure big glasses and crappy clothes is really going to change that, but hopefully she at least embodies it. Movieline suggests no. Quint from AICN suggests yes.