We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
I found a rare absorption while watching Azazel Jacobs' "Terri," the story of a fat kid who is mocked at school. Movies about high school misfits are common; this is an uncommon one. Terri, so convincingly played by Jacob Wysocki, is smart, gentle and instinctively wise. His decision to wear pajamas to school "because they fit" may be an indication that later in life he will amount to a great deal. He has character.
All of that lies ahead in this story, which observes him for two or three weeks as he survives some turning points. Terri's parents are not in the picture. He lives in a cluttered little house with his Uncle James (Creed Bratton), whose books and music indicate he was once a much different man. Now he is drifting into senility, and Terri cares for him with quiet affection.
The house is in a wooded semi-rural area, which Terri cuts through to reach the school. He has been missing a lot of school days and is called in by Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly), the assistant principal. This is a school administrator unlike those we usually see, offering kindness, anger and hard-won lessons learned in his own difficult life. He and Terri slowly begin to communicate person to person, and this process is subtly constructed by Jacobs.
Indeed, the entire film moves at a human pace, not prodded by impatience or a desire to rush through the story. To view "Terri" after the manic thrashing of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" was soothing and healing. It demonstrates how films can engage us in human life, rather than mocking it.