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Jesus' Son

Jesus' Son

4.0 1
Director: Alison Maclean, Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Denis Leary

Cast: Alison Maclean, Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Denis Leary


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In this independent drama, a young man tries to find himself in the early 1970s as he wades through a swamp of heroin addiction. FH (Billy Crudup) is a well-intentioned but weak-willed man whose propensity for messing up his life has earned him his nickname, short for "F--khead." FH's problems with drugs begin in earnest when he falls in love with Michelle (Samantha


In this independent drama, a young man tries to find himself in the early 1970s as he wades through a swamp of heroin addiction. FH (Billy Crudup) is a well-intentioned but weak-willed man whose propensity for messing up his life has earned him his nickname, short for "F--khead." FH's problems with drugs begin in earnest when he falls in love with Michelle (Samantha Morton), a beautiful but emotionally unsettled woman addicted to heroin. FH soon finds himself drawn to the needle, and the couple drifts from one incident to the next, some funny and some horrifying. Michelle rescues FH from overdoses on a few occasions, although their friend Wayne (Denis Leary) isn't so lucky. After a few years, Michelle becomes pregnant and has an abortion in Chicago shortly before leaving FH and journeying to Mexico. While heading South in hopes of finding her, FH falls into a relationship with an older woman, Mira (Holly Hunter), and becomes involved in an auto wreck; his brush with death, and the opportunity to save a child's life, lead him into rehab and a chance to straighten out his life. The American debut from New Zealand director Alison Maclean and based on the novel by Denis Johnson, Jesus' Son also features Dennis Hopper, Will Patton, and Jack Black.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Eddy Crouse
Based on Denis Johnson's stunning short story collection of the same title, Alison Maclean's Jesus’ Son captures the book’s druggy, disjointed rhythms with amazing dexterity. As in the original, one is never sure whether the episodes of botched petty crime, overdoses, crummy jobs, hallucinations, and love scenes that comprise the film’s narrative are unfolding in the past or the present. The tension comes from waiting for the moment when the junkies' respective breaking points will arrive. Billy Crudup is perfectly cast as the central character, a young drug addict and drifter: His itchy, adorable style of method acting is full of gentle, James Dean mannerisms. In Jesus’ Son he plays an individual who is disoriented and essentially helpless -- he can’t save his junkie girlfriend (Samantha Morton), his buddy (Dennis Leary), or even the bunny fetuses he and a friend extract from a dead rabbit. The film boasts some wonderful supporting performances, including ace character actor Jack Black (High Fidelity), whose scenes with Crudup are breathtaking. Brilliantly evoking the look and feel of the scruffy, unlovely early 1970s, Jesus' Son is a rare sort of drug movie, generating sympathy for its characters and era without succumbing to the junkie-chic temptations of, say, Trainspotting or Another Day in Paradise.
All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Two of the most promising performers of their generation pair up with mixed results in Jesus' Son, New Zealand director Alison Maclean's loopy, intermittently brilliant adaptation of author Denis Johnson's cult novel. It's both an asset and a failing that McLean has kept as faithful as possible to her source material. Instead of being preachy or heavy-handed, the disjointed vignettes that tell the tale of junkie FH (Billy Crudup) and his erstwhile girlfriend Michelle (Samantha Morton) have a pleasantly unforced feel. Unfortunately, it's that same unforced rhythm that makes the movie evaporate from memory as soon as the lights come up. Along FH's journey to self-enlightenment, however, we're treated to a smattering of compelling moments: the shocking car accident that opens the film; the split-screen overdose of demented building contractor Wayne (Denis Leary, in an all-too-brief performance); and the surreal hospital job FH and his friend Georgie (the ubiquitous Jack Black) keep in order to score drugs -- any drugs. Our hero occasionally lapses into hallucinatory dream sequences which, at their best, recall Fellini; at their worst, they feel like warmed-over fantasy sequences from Ally McBeal. Through it all, the performances of the sensual, electric Morton and the laconic, dreamy Crudup -- in the first role perfectly suited to his sluggish charm -- keep the film from becoming a mere exercise in style.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Billy Crudup F.H.
Samantha Morton Michelle
Denis Leary Wayne
Jack Black Georgie
Will Patton John Smith
Greg Germann Dr. Shanis
Holly Hunter Mira
Dennis Hopper Bill
Mike Shannon Dundun

Technical Credits
Alison Maclean Director
Margot Bridger Co-producer
Elizabeth Cuthrell Producer,Screenwriter
David Doernberg Production Designer
Ali Farrel Casting
Joe Henry Score Composer
Adam Kimmel Cinematographer
Stuart Levy Editor
Kasia Walicka Maimone Costumes/Costume Designer
Oren Moverman Associate Producer,Screenwriter
Geraldine Peroni Editor
Lydia Dean Pilcher Producer
Randall Poster Musical Direction/Supervision
Laura Rosenthal Casting
Geri Rudin Set Decoration/Design
Andrea Stanley Art Director
Steve Tuttleman Executive Producer
David Urrutia Producer,Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Jesus' Son
1. Pair of Lungs [5:06]
2. Erroneous [5:31]
3. Nervous Talker [4:13]
4. Holiday [4:57]
5. An Accident [4:44]
6. High [4:15]
7. Angel [5:08]
8. Can't Sing [5:03]
9. Eye Man [5:15]
10. Helium Balloon [2:50]
11. Responsible [5:21]
12. Beautiful Chill [2:59]
13. Dirty Wedding [4:44]
14. Holy Water [5:40]
15. Lucky [4:30]
16. Help [3:13]
17. Walked the Streets [5:15]
18. Steady Hands [4:40]
19. Mermaids [3:46]
20. Hands On [3:52]
21. Stalled [4:19]
22. New Approach [3:42]
23. Live in Sunshine [4:01]
24. End Credits [4:22]


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Jesus' Son 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Billy Crudup earns a great nickname which I can't repeat on this writing section, but that's what the movies are around for, right? The random scenes of overdoses, death, abortions, getting ripped, sex and redemption all are wonderfully disjointed (no pun intended), so as to confuse the past from the present. I like Dennis Hopper's brief moment in the movie. Probably autobiographical, or more like with Hopper anything is possible.