In the romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was such a nice young man with a bright, squinty smile and also later in “Inception”. The actor said:“I think that part of the reason Arthur, the character I played in 'Inception,' turned out so fastidious - so clean and so sharp - was in opposition to Hesher, who was so loose and chaotic.

The movie “Hesher” shows people living miserable lives, redeemed momentarily by a late moment of grace. TJ, a young-looking 13-year-old, is bullied at school and in the streets of his neighborhood. His mother has died in a car accident and he lives with his ineffectual father and grieving Grandmother. Hesher charges through the door like a summoned-up demon and soon strike up a rather sweet friendship of nostalgia and four-letter words with the Grandma. Everyone is repressed in this movie except the title character, who rouses them out of their funk.

Director-cowriter Spencer Susser is the sole American member of the Australian collective Blue Tongue Films, but he shares with David Michôd (“Animal Kingdom’’) and the Edgerton brothers (“The Square’’) an interest in aggro male behavior amid bland, washed-out settings. The cast is strong (it also includes Rainn Wilson as TJ's ineffectual father and Piper Laurie as his grandmother), and Natalie Portman shows up as a sad little supermarket checkout clerk who becomes T.J.’s crush and the object of Hesher’s leers.

There is something very honest that I identify with very strongly (about Hesher), and we all have that inside of us, Gordon-Levitt said. Hesher's as good a candidate as any of the characters I've played.