7.0/10
6,561
88 user 74 critic

Jesus' Son (1999)

R | | Drama | 7 July 2000 (USA)
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A young man turns from drug addiction and petty crime to a life redeemed by a discovery of compassion.

Director:

Alison Maclean

Writers:

Denis Johnson (book), Elizabeth Cuthrell (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Crudup ... FH
Robert Michael Kelly Robert Michael Kelly ... Salesman
Torben Brooks Torben Brooks ... Car Crash Driver
Dierdre Lewis Dierdre Lewis ... Driver's Wife
Jimmy Moffit Jimmy Moffit ... Car Crash Doctor
Antoinette LaVecchia ... Dead Man's Wife
Samantha Morton ... Michelle
Steve Buck Steve Buck ... Richard
Ben Shenkman ... Tom
Scott Oster Scott Oster ... Stan
Brooke Rachel Shive Brooke Rachel Shive ... Beatle (as Brooke Shive)
Mark Webber ... Jack Hotel
John Ventimiglia ... McInnes
Jesse Weaver Jr. Jesse Weaver Jr. ... Carl
Michael Shannon ... Dundun (as Mike Shannon)
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Storyline

A gentle and usually mellow young man, who sometimes knows things before they happen and gets vibes of premonition, tell us his story: how he met Michelle in Iowa in 1971, how he got the name Fuckhead, how she introduced him to heroin and their falling in love, his thieving, his hospital work and their time in Chicago when she gets pregnant, detox, going to Phoenix to live, AA meetings and a dance, working at a care center where he learns to touch the residents, and modifying his daily schedule so that he passes a neighboring Mennonite household at the right time to hear the wife sing Gospel songs in the shower. Slowly, very slowly, FH lets his gifts emerge. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic drug use, strong language, sexuality and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Lions Gate

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 July 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az élet kalandja See more »

Filming Locations:

Gibbstown, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,089, 18 June 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,282,084, 20 August 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's title comes from a line in the Velvet Underground song "Heroin". See more »

Goofs

In the hitchiking scene, FH predicts he will be picked up by a family driving an Oldsmobile, and when he is picked up it is presented as if he predicted correctly, but the car they are driving is a Chevrolet, not an Oldsmobile. See more »

Quotes

Mira: Doesn't it make you grateful? Because they were... they were people just like us, only unluckier.
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Connections

References Easy Come, Easy Go (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

She's a Jar
Written by Jeff Tweedy (as Tweedy) and Jay Bennett (as Bennett)
Performed by Wilco
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warners Special Products
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User Reviews

 
A neglected classic.
26 June 2002 | by parkesjaSee all my reviews

This film was buried here- apart from the acclaim in 'Uncut' magazine; I didn't manage to see this 'til this year. My initial viewing was a little underwhelmed- being a fan of Johnson's book I had worked this up to impossible heights in my mind. However, on a second viewing I enjoyed the film more- the nouvelle-vague via Scorsese editing & structure seemed much better 2nd time around.

The film is closest to 'Drugstore Cowboy'- though parts such as the split-screen or the digital editing as F***head takes pills in the Emergency Room could have come from 'Requiem for a Dream'. The source stories have been extended and made more cohesive- as with the adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr's 'Last Exit to Brooklyn' by Uli Edel.

The film is wonderfully shot- a great scene is the drive-in/cemetery that plays 'Carnival of Souls' (though I thought I saw Samantha Morton caught in an almost Anton 'Depeche Mode' Corbijin style!); imagine 'Zabriskie Point' without the metaphysical masturbation...

The acting is uniformly great- Crudup & Morton are fantastic leads, while Denis Leary, Greg Germann, Holly Hunter are among the excellent supports. The short Dennis Hopper shaving scene is one of the greatest pieces of cinema I have seen in recent years; while Jack Black almost steals the film with his amusing "listen to my shoes". And Denis Johnson is great as hunting knife in eye guy. Oh and Will Patton pops up as 'John Smith'- still he was in 'The Postman', so not quite yet forgiven.

The soundtrack (chosen by Johnson) is great- Neil Young's 'Cowgirl in the Sand', Wilco's 'Airline to Heaven' & 'She's a Jar', 'Hang on Sloopy' and the great score. The highlight is Morton's gyrating dance to 'Oh Sweet Pea'- almost as great as that dance scene ripped off for 'Pulp Fiction' from Godard's 'Bande a Part'.Only quibble is- where was 'Heroin' by The Velvet Underground?

'Jesus' Son' is a touching, funny, and tender film that deserves to find an audience. There are too many great moments here- Hunter's arm waving in the air, Beverly Home, the Amish, the laundry scene, the ER scene, the rabbits roadtrip etc. Terribly depressing that mediocrity like 'Human Traffic' & 'Trainspotting' finds an audience here- but a film like this isn't allowed to (except at a few arthouse cinemas). Pity- and Alison MacLean's debut 'Crush' is also excellent; here's to possible adaptations of Denis Johnson's 'Already Dead' & 'The Name of the World'- by David Lynch and Paul Schrader respectively (hopefully)...Check out Johnson's books- as this film's use of voiceover stems right from them.


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