Discomforting jab at suburban alienation

The Chumscrubber Directed by Arie Posin, written by Zac Stanford, with Jamie Bell, Glenn Close, Ralph Fiennes and others. Music by James Horner.

According to The Associated Press, the Louisiana penal system is reluctantly releasing one of the young men who murdered several schoolmates a few years ago when he was 13. He and another boy had set off a fire alarm in their school so that everybody would come outside, where they were hiding with their fathers’ high-powered rifles….

Movies about the great divide between young people and their parents aren’t new. The 1950s had James Dean and Sal Mineo in “Rebel Without a Cause.” The young rebels had hot rods and a gun. The parents in these older movies were too preoccupied with getting rich to pay attention to their children.

Nowadays, some young people have embraced drugs and violent video games. In “The Chumscrubber,” suburban parents are preoccupied with their own drugs and medications, wine and a desperate egomania that seems to be the natural product of lives of complete alienation.

If the movie is a dark comedy, and it is, the jokes are told deadpan to the very end.

Just a few years ago, in the picture-perfect little rich Texas town of Plano, a series of copycat teen suicides shocked the nation….

Jamie Bell is just as good in this movie as everybody hoped he would be after he dazzled us as the dancing urchin in “Billy Elliot.” Glenn Close, as always, is magnificent. Ralph Fiennes proves again, as if he needed to, that he can play much more than oversensitive romantic heroes.

All the acting is terrific. Even better is the director’s pacing that is set perfectly to the discomforting music provided by Hollywood great James Horner.

The whole movie is discomforting, as it intends to be. Teenagers, drugs, death, insanity and gory video games can be discomforting. Should our discomfort prevent us from making the effort to understand and bridge the generational divide and the extreme effects of modern American alienation?

Not long ago in Colorado, teenage boys brought weapons to school ….