Posted on 4/19/12 07:32 PM
I saw this as an anti-Mary Poppins. Hesher may have been more successful if the character could have passed for being a figment of TJ's imagination. He seems to pop-up at all the right times where some life lesson would be learned, but never directly solves any problems for the poor kid. That's what we like about it. During the course of the family's tragedies, Hesher becomes a distraction, rarely lending more than failed attempts to fight fire with an example of an even more dysfunctional presence. Hesher never seems to reveal any interest in caring about anything. If the scenes with him interacting with the family had been cut out, perhaps Susser may have been onto something more in respect to accepting the desperate and emotional world of TJ's pain . Unfortunately, the humor becomes a bit too obvious. It seemed at some point he wanted to be Stolonz, riding on an emotional level of fragility, somewhere between comedy in pure pain, but he ends distancing himself further from humanity. It's as if the film wanted to be dark dramatic comedy which conveyed some sense of truth about the human condition, but instead just rewarded drug use and an occasional unorthodox push to the heart. I appreciated that the thoughtful art direction and locations used in the film. It brought me back in time to a stale time and place many Americans may be familiar with. Natalie Portman looked glamorous in every get-up they dressed her in, but at some point the art direction became more distracting than Hesher. Thankfully, the end brings us back to a moving place in true Hesher-style.