TERRI (Azazel Jacobs). 105 minutes. Opens Friday (August 19). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN
Some movies use maladjusted characters as figures of unexpected wisdom or earthy humour. Terri is not one of those movies; its misfit protagonist is just a really weird kid on the verge of getting weirder.
Terri (Jacob Wysocki) is an obese 15-year-old who lives with his ailing uncle (Creed Bratton) in a dingy house on the outskirts of a small California town.
Monosyllabic and apathetic, Terri has trouble in school. Eventually, his tardiness lands him in the office of Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly), who's either the best guidance counsellor in the world or the worst; Terri can't tell, and neither can we. And that's where things get interesting.
Working from a precise, economical script by Patrick DeWitt, director Azazel Jacobs - who made his name with the 2008 documentary Momma's Man - delivers a naturalistic and entirely absorbing drama about a boy on the verge of self-awareness, capturing the awkward horrors and unexpected surprises that make up everyone's adolescence.