John Callahan has a lust for life, a talent for off-color jokes, and a drinking problem. When an all-night bender ends in a catastrophic 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 an international 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. Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black star.
“Joaquin Phoenix and director Gus Van Sant turn a biopic of quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan into something tender, unique.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“Phoenix tends to get lost in his parts, which can lead him (along with his films) astray. But when his high-wire emotional arc suits the movie, there are few who can touch him.” — David Edelstein, New York Magazine
“Van Sant pays tribute to the restorative power of faith, discipline and perseverance, but he also resists the temptation to follow these themes into an overly pat or complacent groove.” — Justin Chang, L.A. Times
Gus Van Sant
John Callahan (based on the book by), John Callahan (story by), Gus Van Sant (story by), Jack Gibson (story by), William Andrew Eatman (story by), Gus Van Sant (screenplay by)
Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black