Uh, well, we’ve saved the best for last this week, at least in my opinion. TERRI stars Jacob Wysocki as an overweight, ostracized high schooler whose constant tardiness lands him in the office of the principal, Mr. Fitzgerald, who is played with a deft mix of authority and awkwardness by John C. Reilly.
Mr. Fitzgerald is more desperate to help Terri than Terri is to be helped. That’s probably because he thinks it will make him feel better about his own life. And though the two don’t exactly bond, they develop a mutual respect.
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Terri, in the meantime, strikes up a friendship with a classmate. However, like Fitzgerald’s relationship with Terri, Terri’s protectiveness of the girl is motivated as much by self-interest—in this case, a crush—as it is by genuine sympathy.
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Sometimes very funny and sometimes quite bleak, TERRI is a smart drama about a group of characters who want to believe that they’re doing the right thing, but know that it isn’t necessarily so. TERRI is directed with a lot of intelligence by Azazel Jacobs, who made his name with a string of very-very-low-budget films. He’s someone to watch, as is Jacob Wysocki, who invests his character with awkwardness, charm and even a strange sort of dignity.
Yeah, I like this very much as well. Jacob Wysocki is great in this. It’s his first film. It’s only his second audition ever, and he is a total natural. The director does a couple of little gimmicky things, which kind of bug me.
What do you mean?
Okay, so in the beginning of the film, Terri is walking to school along the same path everyday. The camera is behind him and shooting him from far away; a distance through a chain link fence to indicate his isolation or whatever. By the end, once he’s opened up and made these friends, the sun is bright on his face but shot from the totally different angle of “Oh now he’s a happy guy!” It’s a little obvious, but the moments these kids share together are so great. The scene where they all get drunk. Terri and the girl and the little awkward scrawny kid is very suspenseful and very real to me.
It’s very suspenseful because theres not really, there’s no really right thing to do in this situation. They kind of gotten themselves into this place where whatever they do, you know, someone is going to end up kind of feeling hurt. The relationship between the John C. Reilly character and Wysocki character feels very believable. It’s not just this sort of, you know, uplifting like older man bonding with a kid sort of thing.
It’s a little weird.
There’s always,yeah, there’s always kind of a power struggle going on.
Yeah, but still I liked it to. He’s great in it.