As as I write this I am not watching Hesher the Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman family dramedy that debuted to mixed reviews here at Sundance. I didn't get in because I got on a poorly timed shuttle bus-- Park City is nothing if not unnecessarily difficult to navigate-- but it was also hard to get a ticket, given the news that broke today that Hesher has been picked up for distribution.

The lucky buyer is Newmarket FIlms, a small indie company that usually distributes movies you don't hear about, but also has Passion of the Christ and Donnie Darko to its name. The press release claims that Hesher "has picked up momentum with the fan boy driven audiences," but I've got to tell you, I've been hanging out with many of those fanboys here in Park CIty, and no one seems to be going wild for it. Maybe I would have loved it... but the shuttle system had other plans.

Here's the basic plot description for those of you who are curious about what you're in for; apparently Newmarket picked up the film after Hesher screened for audiences in Salt Lake City, who didn't have that Sundance incentive to like the film no matter what:

Hesher is the story of a twenty-something long-haired tattooed metal-head who one day unexpectedly enters the life of a grieving family. Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the most unlikely person to help 13-year-old TJ (Devin Brochu) cope with the death of his mother, but he proves to be the only one who can truly free TJ from his overwhelming sadness. The charismatic and dangerous Hesher drags TJ out of loss and confusion by sheer force of will and gives the young boy and his grieving father (Rainn Wilson) a chance to be a family again.

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