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 actor Udo Kier has also been in Gus Van Sant's film My Own Private Idaho; his character's name was also called Hans. 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 »
Gus Van Sant brings great energy to the project and it benefits from a strong leading performance. The film isn't anything really special or unique and it doesn't exactly explore things with much depth. Yet, I still enjoyed the energy of the filmmaking and found myself having a good time with it.
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