One of the great things about John C. Reilly is that even after his success in films Hollywood hits such as "Talladega Nights," "Step Brothers," "Gangs of New York" or "Chicago," he's continued to toke chances on smaller independent films. This year, he's appeared in two festival favorites, "We Need to Talk About Kevin" which debuted at Cannes last month and "Terri," a critical smash that premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in January.
Written and directed by Sundance vet Azazel Jacobs (2008's "Momma's Man"), "Terri" centers on the title character (Jacob Wysocki), a 15-year-old boy living with his ailing Uncle (Creed Bratton) and so uninterested in attending school he starts having major truancy issues. Reilly plays Mr. Fitzgerald, a Vice-Principal who has decided to take outcast kids like Terri under his wing.
Reviewing "Terri" at Sundance, HitFix's Daniel Fienberg described it as containing "a fair amount of sincere, sometimes painful insight into the difficulties of growing up different." He also noted it also contains "the best single scene I've seen in a movie at Sundance thus far, producing laughter, discomfort and concern in short order."
ATO Pictures has provided HitFix with a an exclusive clip from the dramedy and while it's not the scene Fienberg praises, it's still a very nice and humorous peak into the tone of the film. We find Mr. Fitzgerald attempting to convince Terri why hanging out with him a few days a week instead of going to homeroom is a good thing, assuming his secretary can figure out how to spell. You can watch it embedded above in this post.
Reilly, who recently stole the show in "Cedar Rapids," may also be seen later this year in Roman Polanski's "Carnage" if the filmmaker an get it done in time to qualify for awards season.
"Terri" opens in limited release in New York and Los Angeles on July 1. It then expands across the country throughout July.
For year round entertainment commentary follow Gregory Ellwood on twitter @HitFixGregory