• Publication date: November 2, 2009

Not all the kids suck Childhood begins at forty

This film�s title does not harbor some deep meaning or a an elusive metaphor. Thumbsucker straightforwardly is a movie about a seventeen year old who sucks his thumb. While it isn�t the most common thing for a teenager to still be doing, the journey Justin Cobbs (Lou Taylor Pucci) goes through is just like everyone else�s; he is ultimately out to find himself.

This film�s title does not harbor some deep meaning or a an elusive metaphor. Thumbsucker straightforwardly is a movie about a seventeen year old who sucks his thumb. While it isn�t the most common thing for a teenager to still be doing, the journey Justin Cobbs (Lou Taylor Pucci) goes through is just like everyone else�s; he is ultimately out to find himself.

Justin wants to stop and knows that his thumbsucking is disrupting his family, his love life and his identity. The only thing that changes his behavior is hypnosis therapy administered by his �guru� orthodontist, Dr. Perry Lyman (Keanu Reeves). But while Justin felt this would solve all his problems and he would finally be �normal,� his troubles were really just beginning. Thumbsucking was only a symptom of a deep-seated fear: that he and his father aren�t good enough for his mother, and that she would leave them. Thumbsucking was the only way to soothe this fear. Once that is gone Justin spirals into manic behavior, is diagnosed with ADHD and put on Ritalin, which becomes a substitute for his thumb. When the high of the prescription drugs and a newfound success at school crash, Justin turns to pot and sex to replace his thumb.

Justin Cobbs is not the only one in his family with an absurd obsession. His mother, Audrey Cobb (Tilda Swinton) has a fascination with a celebrity and insists on dressing herself up attractively to win a competition that would grant her a date with star Matt Schramm (Benjamin Bratt). Justin�s father is feeling insecure about not being the husband his wife would like him to be and can�t come to terms with the fact that he is ageing. Even the only man Justin looks up, Dr. Perry Lyman, has ups and downs of his, which seem to resemble Justin�s.

Thumbsucker is the winner of 4 awards, including Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. It is the directorial debut for film�s writer, Mike Mills, who previously directed several music videos for renowned artists such as Moby, Yoko Ono, and Air.

Rated R for drug/alcohol use and sexuality involving teens, language and a disturbing image.

Running time: 96 mins