A gorgeous, smart, funny, and sad coming-of-age movie by first-time writer/director Mike Mills. Seventeen-year-old Justin Cobb (the excellent Lou Pucci) lives at the edge of the Oregonian suburbs. He goes to school. He's in the debate club. And he's not happy. Justin lacks confidence, his schoolwork is suffering, his father (Vincent D'Onofrio) is a pain in the ass, and his mother (the electrifying Tilda Swinton) has a crush on a television actor. And he sucks his thumb. What's wrong with Justin? Nobody can figure it out. But Thumbsucker reminds us: No matter what your situation, it's simply not easy to be a teenager -- to be subject to the whims of your confused and searching peers, and parents, and teachers, and health-care professionals. The world is complex and often harsh, and teenagers don't have the experience or self-knowledge to make much sense of it. With an impeccable script, meticulous directing, and beautiful, lugubrious music, Thumbsucker is one of the best of 2005.
Director: Mike Mills
Writer: Walter Kirn and Mike Mills
Producer: Anthony Bregman, Anne Carey, Jay Shapiro and Robert J. Stephenson
Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kelli Garner, Keanu Reeves, Vince Vaughn, Benjamin Bratt, Chase Offerle, Sarah Iverson and Sarah Bing