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.
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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.
Being a huge film fan, sometimes minor drunk, and a very passionate artist, I could really relate to this film!
'DON'T WORRY, HE WON'T GET FAR ON FOOT': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
The new comedy-drama biopic based on the autobiography of cartoonist John Callahan, detailing his story of how he came to sobriety after severe alcoholism. It was directed by Gus Van Sant, and written by Van Sant, Jack Gibson and William Andrew Eaton. The movie stars Joaquin Phoenix (as Callahan), Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara and Jack Black. Danny Elfman also did the score for the film. It's received mostly positive reviews from critics, and it's playing in select indie theaters now (like Portland). I found it to be really well made, and quite involving.
John Callahan (Phoenix) was a horrendous alcoholic, living in Portland, OR, when he got into a car accident which left him severely disabled. The disastrous accident just makes him even more depressed, and more addicted to the dangerous drug as well. Then he falls for a woman named Annu (Mara), who works at the hospital he's first treated at, and she encourages him to enter rehab. With the help of a really supportive sponsor (Hill), John keeps at it. When he starts drawing popular, but highly controversial, newspaper cartoons, John's life really starts to change for the better.
I've definitely had times when I've drank too much in my life; not to the extent of the characters in this movie but I could still really relate to that important part of this film. I could also really relate to how John used alcohol as medication, for handling past trauma in his life (I know this is something a lot of drinkers do). Then again I could also really relate to the beautiful healing magic of art, presented in this movie, especially creating it (I'm a very obsessed aspiring filmmaker). Being a huge film fan, sometimes minor drunk, and a very passionate artist, I could really relate to this film. Especially also now that I live in the PDX area (where this was set). It's my favorite city ever!
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