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Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (2018)

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1:53 | Trailer
On the rocky path to sobriety after a life-changing accident, John Callahan discovers the healing power of art, willing his injured hands into drawing hilarious, often controversial cartoons, which bring him a new lease on life.

Director:

Gus Van Sant

Writers:

John Callahan (based on the book by), John Callahan (story by) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
468 ( 410)

Joaquin Phoenix Through the Years

Joaquin Phoenix stars in Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, now in theaters. Get a closer look at the acclaimed actor's career on and off the screen.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joaquin Phoenix ... John Callahan
Jonah Hill ... Donnie
Rooney Mara ... Annu
Jack Black ... Dexter
Tony Greenhand ... Tim
Beth Ditto ... Reba
Mark Webber ... Mike
Ronnie Adrian ... Martingale
Kim Gordon ... Corky
Udo Kier ... Hans
Carrie Brownstein ... Suzanne
Ethan Tindukasiri ... Skateboarder #1
Sunny Suljic ... Skateboarder #2
Cree Kawa ... Skateboarder #3
Nolan Gross ... Skateboarder #4
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Storyline

After Portland slacker John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) nearly loses his life in a car accident, the last thing he intends to do is give up drinking. But when he reluctantly enters treatment - with encouragement from his girlfriend (Rooney Mara) and a charismatic sponsor (Jonah Hill) - Callahan discovers a gift for drawing edgy, irreverent newspaper cartoons that develop a national following and grant him a new lease on life. Based on a true story, this poignant, insightful and often funny drama about the healing power of art is adapted from Callahan's autobiography and directed by two-time Oscar® nominee Gus Van Sant. Jack Black, Carrie Brownstein, Beth Ditto and Kim Gordon also star.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, some nudity and alcohol abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 2018 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Don't Worry See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,339, 15 July 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,441,705, 13 September 2018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,066,633, 16 August 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Gus Van Sant makes a cameo in the film as an editor at Willamette Week. His face is only partially shown. See more »

Goofs

When John goes to make amends with Dexter, Dexter is cleaning a flattop in a restaurant. Dexter stops scraping and leans his elbow on the edge of the flattop. Flattops get scraped when they're hot, not cold. Also, Dexter isn't wearing any kind of hair restraint, which would be violating health code in a kitchen of that type. See more »

Quotes

John Callahan: Don't get urine in the picture!
See more »

Connections

References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Blowin' In The Wind
Written by Bob Dylan
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User Reviews

 
road to recovery
20 July 2018 | by David FergusonSee all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Being neither an alcoholic, an artist nor a quadriplegic, I found myself wondering if I would be able to connect at all with the real life story of John Callahan. At most, I figured another stellar, oddball performance from Joaquin Phoenix might keep me engaged. It turns out, director Gus Van Sant (GOOD WILL HUNTING, 1999) focuses more on the quite interesting road to sobriety ... a road that also happens to lead directly to a reason to live.

Based on Mr. Callahan's autobiography, the film stars the enigmatic Mr. Phoenix. First seen as a 21 year old (a bit of a stretch) slacker who constantly needs a "fix" of alcohol, no matter the time of day, the talented actor excels after the alcohol-induced car accident that robs Callahan completely of the use of his legs, leaving him only minimal function with arms and hands. Even this doesn't inspire Callahan to give up the bottle. However, a vision of his mother does. Callahan's mommy issues are a key element of the story, as she gave him up for infant adoption - leading to many years of drowning his self-pity in whatever type of alcohol was in the glass.

The film picks up some momentum once Callahan begins attending AA group therapy sessions conducted by Donnie (Jonah Hill). Donnie is part Zen sponsor and trust fund guru. It's a wonderful performance from Mr. Hill, who makes the most of each of his scenes. Others in the group include a terrific (musician) Beth Ditto, Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth fame), (German icon) Udo Kier, Ronnie Adrian and Mark Webber. Individually they don't have much to do, but they do make for a fascinating group. Also appearing are Tony Greenhand as Callahan's attendant, the fabulously talented Carrie Brownstein ("Portlandia"), and Rooney Mara as Callahan's physical therapist-turned-girlfriend. Ms. Mara is especially short-changed in the script.

It was 1972 and Callahan was 21 when the car accident left him a quadriplegic. Slowly, he discovered his talent as a cartoonist - albeit a controversial and darkly funny one. In today's climate of political correctness, it's likely Callahan would find no audience, but at the time, he developed a national following. This was the time of other single panel cartoonists like Gary Larson and Bill Watterson.

Attempting to avoid the traditional and familiar biopic structure, director Van Sant (who has a cameo) chops the movie into bits that work better individually than as a whole. At times it plays like an advertisement for Alcoholics Anonymous. But some of the bits are outstanding. The film is somehow both funny and sad, and includes a terrific scene near the end with Callahan and Jack Black's Dexter reuniting for the first time since the accident. It's a powerfully honest scene.

A destructive lifestyle doesn't always lead to good things, and substance abuse is not very entertaining - though, the road to recovery can be. Getting of glimpse of the 12 step program, we see that not drinking is merely the beginning. It's like a runner who must first lace up his shoes before beginning the actual run. Callahan died in 2010 at age 59, but his impact continues.


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