DIRECTED BY SPENCER SUSSER
USA, 2010, 105 MIN, RATED R
Certain to be one of most talked-about and argued-over films at this year’s festival, HESHER is the shocking, often darkly funny story of a family struggling to deal with loss and the mysterious, anarchical metalhead who helps them do it—in a very unexpected way. Thirteen year-old TJ and his grieving, drugged-out Dad (Rainn Wilson) move in with Grandma (Piper Laurie) to pick up the pieces after Mom was recently killed in a car accident. Into their lives comes Nicole (Natalie Portman), a down-on-her-luck grocery store check-out girl, and Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a crazy, foul-mouthed, hard rock badass who hates the world and everyone in it. Scary and homeless, he’s got long hair, vulgar homemade tattoos, no shirt, and likes fire a lot. He lives in a van—until he meets TJ, and forces himself into their household, for better or worse. Is this force of nature an angel or a demon, a big brother from hell or a surrogate father? In his feature debut, Spencer Susser (I Love Sarah Jane) and co-writer David Michod (Animal Kingdom) have created a provocative, raw, profane, and strangely compelling vision that you won’t soon forget.