Wednesday, 15 February 2012

GFF 2012: Terri

In the first of many Glasgow Film Festival reviews to come, i share my thoughts on the Youth Film Festival's opening gala choice, Terri...

Like its eponymous protagonist, Terri sits awkwardly outside mainstream expectations, but is all the more appealing for it. The film opens with fifteen year old Terri (Jacob Wysocki) squeezed into a bathtub, his hefty frame barely contained. He doesn’t quite fit in at high school either: ostracised by the cool kids and roped into weekly progress meetings with the vice principal, Terri’s lot is not a happy one.

The tone and set-up may initially feel tediously familiar – misfit-populated indie dramedies are ten a penny – but director Azazel Jacobs mostly eschews cliché, with unexpectedly poignant results. Wysocki is excellent in his first starring role, though he’s inevitably overshadowed by a top-form John C. Reilly as high-fiving VP and confidant ‘Fitzy’, who not only gets the funniest lines, but the most sincere ones. “Life’s a mess dude,” he assures a despondent Terri, “but we’re all just doing the best we can,” – a simple but honest message, for a simple but honest film.

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