The Chumscrubber

2005

Comedy / Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 37%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 18090

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

Ralph Fiennes as Mayor Michael Ebbs
Glenn Close as Mrs. Johnson
Carrie-Anne Moss as Jerri Falls
Jamie Bell as Dean

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by alee513 10 / 10

Totally unique and captivating

Many people will hate this movie because it is so off the wall, but I didn't want it to end. It was full of surprises, interesting characters, strong emotions, and bizarre twists. I left the theater in a daze that lasted a couple of hours as "reality" intruded again. The cast is great and stars like Glenn Close and Ralph Fiennes show their talent by underplaying their roles or playing offbeat characters like they never have before. The director did a great job with continuity; the chumscrubber shows up early on before we even know who he is. There is a lot of humor amid the tragedy and it would probably take a second watching to catch it all. Probably the 15 to 25 crowd will like it the best, but I'm almost 60 and I loved it. Great job by the director and writer.

Reviewed by gradyharp 9 / 10

The Oblivion of Suburbia: A Dark Comedy

Few films have polarized audiences (fortunate enough to have experienced this little film) as much as THE CHUMSCRUBBER, a film that is unique in its brave depiction of American suburbia, a place where 'things' have absorbed our attention and 'people' have all but melted into the woodwork. It is a dark comedy, and even while it is very funny in parts, the humor is always attached to black vignettes that are so truthful they can become terrifying.

Taking place in some manufactured instant suburb in sunny California, the story (by director and co-writer Arie Posin with Zak Stanford) is framed around one Dean Stiffle (Jamie Bell - think of the meaning of the word stifle!), a lad who seemingly is alone among the hollow shells of high school kids who live through drugs/pills to alter their perception of a boring meaningless world. The source of their pills is Troy Johnson (Josh Janowicz) who in the first frames of the movie is discovered by Dean after Troy has hanged himself in suicide. Dean, though terrified at the horror of what he discovers, decides to not tell anyone 'because who would care anyway'. Life just goes on among the parents of the teenagers, not allowing anything to disturb their shallow lives: Troy's mother (Glenn Close) appears oblivious to her loss; Dean's mother (Allison Janney) is more concerned with cooking and is clueless as to interpersonal relationships with anyone including her author/psychologist husband William Fichtner whose world begins and ends in his latest book; Terry Bratley (Rita Wilson) whose time is consumed by her incipient wedding to the mayor (Ralph Fiennes) who has delusional behavior while fending off maladaptive behavior by her recently divorced spouse Officer Lou (John Heard); Mrs. Falls (Carrie-Anne Moss) who seduces even teenagers and any other man who comes into her gaze. These shells of parents have no clue or communication with their aimless kids, but the kids when discovering the source of their pills is dead, decide to go after psycho Dean to get the stash. In doing so they kidnap Charley whom they think is Dean's brother to convince Dean to raid Troy's stash. The manner in which all of this plays out is a veritable horror story of the amoral mindset of teenagers coping alone in the world with parents who elect to remain oblivious to their plights.

There are some lapses in continuity with the story, some editing problems, and some weak moments, but the overall message is a very dark, very real microscopic examination of our society. Jamie Bell is particularly outstanding as Dean, the only character who appears to have a remnant of conscience and soul. But the cameos by the wide range of stars are splendid. James Horner has once again managed to gel the story with his musical score, ending the credits with a rendition of the Graham Nash song "Our House'. As said before, the audience is polarized between love and hate/tolerance for this film. This viewer happened to love it. Recommended for all people concerned with our youth today - and their inadequate parents. Grady Harp

Reviewed by TheAscender 10 / 10

A fresh, fun, and moving examination of crazy people (us) in suburbia.

I was able to see a screening of this film at Sundance tonight (1/26/05) and I just wanted to let anyone who was curious about this movie that it is definitely worth seeing. Some lucky distributor is going to make bank off of this great film by a skilled director and soulful screenwriter.

Although I was pleasantly surprised as famous face after famous face came on the screen, Jamie Bell (main character Dean) is without equal. In the Q&A session after the screening, the Director talked a little about wanting to make a movie that examined the hypocrisy and muted subjects of our culture. I think he hit the nail right on the head. He also talked about how they removed all pop culture references in the movie so that they could create their own archetype of pop culture-- the Chumscrubber. The characteristics of this comic book/video game hero are an allegory that can help you decode the messages of the movie. (On a comic note, he also said that once you see this movie you will see dolphins EVERYWHERE. When you see it, you'll know what I mean.) Screenwriter Zak Stanford said that a Chubscrubber is the worst job in the fishing village he grew up in. It's the person that has to mop the floor clean after everyone else has gutted and processed the fish. This movie, in part, discussed "what it would be like to have someone do that for you."

There are parts of this movie that are definitely funny. However, I didn't find myself laughing at all them because I couldn't shake the feeling that I would have been laughing at myself. I guess I'm saying that for those of us who find themselves seeking escape in a world that finds us trivial, there is a lot of truth in this movie. But don't worry... it also shows us the power a single human connection can have.

SEE/BUY/DISCUSS/ANTICIPATE/DEVOUR THIS MOVIE!!

Ascender

P.S.- Don't be put off by trite descriptions of this film as a "tale of a young boy fending off the evils of suburbia." It really doesn't do it justice. It's fresh, fun, and moving.

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