6.9/10
6,704
90 user 75 critic

Jesus' Son (1999)

R | | Drama | 7 July 2000 (USA)
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 »

Photos

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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:

Canada | USA

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

Gross USA:

$1,302,067

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,302,067
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

This movie is an adaptation of the novella/short story collection of the same name by Denis Johnson See more »

Goofs

The film takes place in the early 1970s. Outside the motel there's a car with an old, battered "D.A.R.E." bumpersticker. But the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program was not founded until 1982. See more »

Quotes

[FH starts up a mock interview]
FH: There are some people out there who would like to know a thing or two about you. Would you describe yourself for those people?
Bill: I don't know...I'm like a fat piece of shit, I guess.
FH: He's overweight.
Bill: I've been shot twice though.
FH: Twice?
Bill: Yeah, once by each wife. Total of 3 bullets, making 4 holes, 3 in, 1 out.
FH: And you're still alive?
Bill: Are you kidding?
FH: No.
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Last Date
Written by Floyd Cramer
Performed by Floyd Cramer
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label Nashville
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's really a light-hearted rhythmic piece. In the end, it's practically poetic.
9 July 2000 | by ruby_fffSee all my reviews

It's not "Panic in Needle Park" 1975 or "Rush" 1991. It's not heavy at all. True, the subject is about the drug scene in the '70's, but how can anything be heavy with Jack Black in it? (Yes, the one who delivered a surprisingly impressive singing at the finale of John Cusack's passion "High Fidelity" 2000). JESUS' SON is neither your usual Hollywood glamorized drug movie.

I was skeptical when I first heard about this film in Dec. '99 -- another one on drugs. Then when the trailer started, it grew on me. The image of framing an arc of a wreath above Crudup's head was the crowning influence that I must see this movie. In any case, Billy Crudup and Samantha Morton are quite an intense pairing.

The whole film seems like it's on it's own trip (pun intended). Crudup is FH, a rather lovable character. He is actually a shy person. Now and then he emits a sense of humor and it comes across so innocently -- you just can't blame him. He's trying to do right. Billy Crudup carried the picture from beginning to end. We see him and hear him narrating. The words uttered are eloquent. Crudup's clear enunciation adds to the fluidity of the text that we're hearing throughout the film.

Watching this film is rather like playing an album, you can go back and forth just by lifting the turntable needle. The vignettes are different tracks: on the road trip with Jack Black and the rabbits, and dealing with the knife in the head emergency case during a hospital shift (with Jack Black contributing his comic rhythm and delivering his lines equally fun to hear); shaving Dennis Hopper and interviewing him at the same time; interactions with Holly Hunter before and after AA meetings; staff routines at the senior home in Phoenix; repeatedly watching the Amish couple through the window glass; going to Denis Leary's house and the aftermath; of course, the interludes and episodes with Samantha Morton as Michelle. Humor is ever present.

Bravo to the script by three screenplay writers, based on Denis Johnson's short stories, and kudos to director Alison Mclean. She directed a film with such clarity and simple strokes. Billy Crudup would be the reason to see this film if not anything else, he exudes a halo of light about him -- his angelic face, even with his coy whiskers, still has a certain innocence about him, and according to FH, he does have ominous feelings in him of what to come. Jesus' son, he very well is. Enjoy this film, it's an excellent effort and production all round, including the soundtrack music and songs of the 70's.

Don't miss "Without Limits" 1998, another Billy Crudup must-see, if you haven't yet.


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