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.
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.
The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2018. See more »
John draws a cartoon about a Starbucks appearing in some guy's rectum - the joke being there are Starbucks everywhere, but Starbucks didn't franchise until the 80s and wasn't 'everywhere' until the the 90s/2000s. This film takes place in the late 70s/early 80s. See more »
I found it to be a strangely dark comedy. Or rather it was funny despite the subject manner.
So technically a true story about a man named John Callahan who was an alcoholic and became paralyzed in a car accident because of his addiction to the bottle, but ends up living his best life due to his involvement with alcoholics anonymous.
So maybe not so dark now that I think about it as the story was uplifting and inspiring.
Joaquin Phoenix was a pleasure to see on the screen. Very lively and believable as a man chasing some demons, but keeping his sense of humor and positive attitude.
And we needed that liveliness as some of the 12 steps in the movie were not that flush out as well as others.
Gus Van Sant's ability to do such a serious content and give it to us in a humorous way makes for an Impressive film.
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