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Jesus' Son

1 rating: 1.0
A movie directed by Alison Maclean

Alison Maclean's (CRUSH) exhilarating adaptation of Denis Johnson's acclaimed short story collection is a deeply compassionate portrait of one man's descent into drug addiction, filled with a potent blend of surreal imagery and gritty realism. … see full wiki

Director: Alison Maclean
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 1999
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Jesus' Son

Jesus’ Son – 1999

  • Apr 15, 2002
Pros: Crudup, very good. Direction very decent, music very sweet

Cons: well it's drugs, you take it from there

The Bottom Line: Painful but worth the watch

After watching Requiem for a Dream, nothing drug related should surprise me anymore. However, I was taken with the overall pain portrayed in this movie. Immersed in the culture of the 70’s, the main character, FH (Billy Crudup) stumbles through life. Realizing he has little to offer the world and expecting nothing in return, he lives in a drug induced life practically throughout the movie.

His one shining moment is when he meets and falls in love with Michelle (Samantha Morton), an equally stoned loser like himself. Perhaps this union should have never been, as their addictions feed on each other with little relief in sight. After having an abortion, Michelle goes to ‘Mexico’ to earn her fame and fortune, under the supervising eye of a new pimp, John Smith (Will Patton). Determining this wasn’t her lifestyle, she ends up in Iowa, and somehow FH finds his way to her side.

After some unpleasant circumstances, FH ends up in a bar and meets up with his good buddy Wayne (Dennis Leary), and they use his old beat up VW Bug as transportation to overhaul Wayne’s former home. Seems the copper wiring bring in a pretty penny. A penny that will buy them more drugs.

An incredibly visual experience happens here with a split screen showing Wayne and FH each entering their respective apartments and preparing to ‘shoot up’. Both drag their chairs in front of their television sets, prepare the drug, shoot, and begin to nod off. Appears this was a bad bag (whatever) and they are both near death. However, Michelle shows up in time to save FH, Wayne has no one to save him. An incredible scene!

Attempting to clean up their life, FH and Michelle try going drug free. Unfortunately, FH works as an orderly in a hospital and has access to lots of pretty colored pills, so his attempt isn’t as successful as Michelle’s. And in the end, it really doesn’t matter, but I won’t give that part away.

Eventually FH turns to AA/DA and tries to gain control of his hedonistic life. After a while he is sent to Arizona, as part of his rehab, to work in a home that caters to the aged and deformed of society. It is here that he meets up with Dennis Hopper (who just might have been a real patient there – smile) and Holly Hunter. Although small cameo roles for each, both are very good, especially Hunter who gives us a few T & A shots - oh Holly!

Of course, the real star of this movie is the outstanding music. Soundtrack for this movie included:
~Last Date (Floyd Cramer)
~The Love You Save (Joe Tex)
~Yes, I’m Ready (Barbara Mason)
~Unchain My Heart (Joe Henry)
~Lover’s Holiday (Peggy Scott, Jo Jo Benson
~Sweet Pea (Tommy Roe)
~Jesus’s Son (Joe Henry)
~She’s A Jar (Wilco)
~San Antone (Dough Sahm)
~Indian Reservation (Raiders)
~Ballad of Green Berets (SSgt. Barry Sadler)
~The Family Who Prays (Louvin Brothers)
~Airline to Heaven (Wilco).

There is no glory in the drug world. This movie is no exception. It paints a miserable and painful picture of the 1970’s drug culture that has continued to this day. Some say this movie is full of black humor. Fargo had black humor, this doesn’t. Perhaps this comes from having seen the devastation that drugs can do to you, and your family, that left me with little to laugh at in this release.

Irregardless, this was a good movie, a bit twisted, but good. Written by Denis Johnson & Elizabeth Cuthrell, directed by Alison Maclean. Rated “R” for graphic drug use, language, sexuality, violence.

Nominations - 5

Won - 7

Everyone was a Bacon #1 or #2 - darn


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