Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

Terri 2011

Directed by Azazel Jacobs

Injecting concern with laughter, this high school comedy stars John C. Reilly as a vice-principal who identifies with the biggest losers on campus. “Smart, gentle and instinctively wise.” — Roger Ebert

USA In English
105 minutes



Alison Dickey
Hunter Gray
Lynette Howell
Alex Orlovsky


Patrick deWitt


Tobias Datum


Darrin Navarro

Production designer

Matthew Luem

Art director

Nicholas Kelley

Costume designer



Mandy Hoffman


John C. Reilly (Mr Fitzgerald)
Jacob Wysocki (Terri)
Creed Bratton (Uncle James)
Bridger Zadina (Chad Markson)
Olivia Crocicchia (Heather Miles)


Sundance, SXSW, San Francisco 2011


Not all the oddballs in this gentle, but sharply calibrated comedy of high school freak-hood are students: Mr Fitzgerald, the nervy vice-principal, suspects that he’s as big a loser as any of them. Played with sputtering comic brilliance by John C. Reilly, Fitzgerald even sees something of himself in Terri, a lonely watchful, giant tub of a boy so inured to schoolyard taunts that he turns up to class in his pyjamas. ‘Life is a mess, dude,’ is teacher’s mantra as he plays furtive social catalyst, nudging Terri and his other favourite ‘at-risk’ kids toward mutual outcast appreciation, not something outcasts are generally noted for. When Terri and his new friends party it up, the air crackles with potential – and that includes the potential for any one of them to flame out. Terri is funny not just because it’s dead-on, but also because it’s clearly and unsentimentally on the alienated team. Fear not: no one here seriously expects you to cuddle a freak. — BG