Weekly Alternatives: ‘Everything Must Go,’ ‘The Double Hour’ and ‘Hesher’

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides looks to heat up the summer box-office this weekend, but what if that’s not exactly your cup of tea? Luckily the art houses are offering up a solid slate of films for maybe the first time in 2011. There’s a little something for everyone, so seek these films out if they happen to be playing in your city.

Everything Must Go
Everything Must Go poster
Everything Must Go features the darkest role of Will Ferrell’s career, that of a relapsed alcoholic who loses his job and his wife on the same day. While still funny, charming and everything else you’d expect from a great American indie, Everything Must Go also delivers a raw portrait of the horrors of alcoholism. Ferrell’s “less is more” approach to the role knocks it out of the park and Christopher “CJ” Wallace, the son of the late Notorious B.I.G., is delightful as a neighborhood loner who helps him sell all the stuff his wife threw out on the front lawn.

The Double Hour
The winner of three major awards at the 2009 Venice Film Festival, this chilling Italian thriller is one of the most satisfying imports since Tell No One. The Double Hour follows a hotel maid (Ksenia Rappoport) who falls for a hunky security guard at a speed dating session. When the man (Vincere‘s Filippo Timi, Italy’s answer to Javier Bardem) is killed as part of an art heist, the mysteries begin piling up for the mesmerizing Rappoport. The film is an odd blend of romance, psychological thriller, ghost story and film noir, but it works. There are a number of effective twists, which director Giuseppe Capotondi pairs with plenty of disorienting camera angles to keep the viewer constantly off guard.

Hesher
Hesher poster
One of the many Urban Dictionary definitions for “hesher” reads as follows: “Long haired, usually mulleted person who listens and rocks out to Metal or Thrash music. Generally seen wearing acid-washed jeans, leather motorcycle or denim jacket covered with band and skull patches. Will often have a Molester Mustache.”

Chameleon Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Hesher: a serial arsonist, vandal and resident metalhead. But where did he come from? Is Hesher his real name or just a moniker he adopted after so many “normal” people used it as a label for him? Either way, Hesher is the type of unpredictable anti-hero who commands your attention because you never know what might happen next. He’s almost Travis Bickle-esque in that way, though Hesher is oddly inspiring in the way this hoodlum helps a boy overcome the loss of his mother. Oh, and Natalie Portman is in there as well. Just in case you haven’t seen enough of her yet this year.