“Just because someone chooses to leave, that doesn’t mean they didn’t wanna be here with you. It means they had a hard time of things.”
From the opening scene, to the last moments of an instrumental Skinny Love, Jim Cummings proves himself to be a competent full-scale director, writer, and actor who has largely fallen by the wayside in a year where the role of fathers shone through. From Eighth Grade to Blockers to Custody, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly (respectively): and now, with Thunder Road, we have an image on par with the matriarchal powerhouse performance of Charlize Theron in Tully or Carey Mulligan in Wildlife in the soft corners of the father figure we all deserve to admire.
A truly brilliant and incandescent work about a psychologically unsuitable human being who overcomes his mental and material problems with the poise of a hero in disguise. A comedy with profound moments of grief that walks circles around the sentimental Hollywood box office drivel that adds nothing to the psychological experience of thinking through films and being changed for the better. Emotionally rich and unapologetic, Thunder Road delivers one of the finest struggles in view of the fatherhood model for raising a girl in fourth grade and in a year where Bo Burnham does the same for girls in middle school.
A remarkable achievement that South By Southwest was right to acknowledge. I look forward to what Cummings has next.