A film by Gus Van Sant
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara
John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) who has a serious drinking problem gets in a car accident and survive with serious injuries. On the rocky road of recovery discover and heals himself with controversial drawing.
John Callahan (1951-2010), an alcoholic who, following a drunk-driving accident at the age of 21, spent the rest of his life as a quadriplegic. Callahan also became a controversial cartoonist for the a newspaper in Oregon. It is hard to do a story on an alcoholic and make it interesting. This is the film that comes full circle with the addiction of alcohol and the destruction of life that don’t have easy resolutions. A great film by Gus Van Sant who thankfully put to work more than a few screenwriters to pull this off. Callahan’s repeated reference to being abandoned by his mother and adopted has an excuse for his problems and addiction. But like he said I started to drink at age 13, I liked it! I liked it a lot. Well he had to blame someone for that. It is just an excuse. The film show the 12 steps program with the use of flashback. Here Jonah Hill who plays Donnie a rich kid who was an alcoholic is now the master of this 12 step program. By the way he lost some serious weight and he delivered a superb performance. It was a joy to see him doing some serious acting for a change. There are some funny moments at times Callahan falling into a bush after going on a skateboard maneuver in his motorized wheelchair, A nurse sitting on his face well I will say no more you will have to see the film. What I like about Gus van Sant is he is not using the studio system. He does his films on his own terms. Callahan becomes a cartoonist the one with the dark sense of humour and not everybody liked his drawing. A terrific independent film here not to be missed. I’ll drink that, Ha!ha!ha!