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Overall Rating

Awesome: 18.64%
Worth A Look38.98%
Average: 27.12%
Pretty Bad: 10.17%
Total Crap: 5.08%

5 reviews, 29 user ratings

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Jesus' Son
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by Filmnet

"Ignore the storyline, check out the performances."
3 stars

Wellington-born, New York-based Maclean brings us her first feature since Crush. She has been working mostly in American tv, directing Sex & the City episodes, amongst others. For a title that promises the metaphysical, Jesus' Son actually delivers the cold hard life of a loser, known as FH (Fuckhead), played by Billy Crudup (Without Limits, Waking the Dead). It is set in the 1970s and is based on Denis Johnson's book of short stories, which was in the New York Times Best Books List of 1992.

FH stumbles through life, forever making mistakes. He meets Michelle (Samantha Morton), who introduces him to drug-taking. FH tries his best, despite his other failings, which is what keeps us sympathetic to him. According to the media info kit, he eventually has his redemption through realising his capacity for compassion. I actually had trouble buying this concept. There were several different points in the second half of the film where this could have been happening, but I really wasn't sure. But maybe that's the point of the film. The story seemed to be first-half-heavy, taking too long to get to the point(s?) where FH is changing significantly.

There are some subtle religious references - laying on of hands, a hint at temptation in the desert - mostly it's in-your-face life in loserville. It is told in FH's voice, in a non-chronological sequence. And this is where the the film wins max points - FH (in voiceover) tells the tale as if he has mild brain damage, or at least a serious hangover. He forgets things, tries his best to explain, and in doing so gives a real insight into the mind of someone who slides down a slippery slope.

Billy Crudup gives a sensational performance: in the first 20 minutes he shows more about how people can become junkies than any amount of academic articles can tell. Usually I find voiceovers intrusive, but in this case it was spot-on. The production designer must have had a blast with all those bad-taste clothes, and the contemporary soundtrack is deftly woven in. This film is not a nice night's escapist entertainment, but if you want an insight into the drug sub-culture, check it out.

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originally posted: 10/19/00 17:11:33
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User Comments

6/26/11 John Airey very good performance 4 stars
8/06/10 Heather! My 2nd favorite film of all time! I don't understand why it was never more well-known. 5 stars
3/28/07 fools♫gold There seem to be unexplained things, notably towards the beginning. But, damn is it unique! 5 stars
10/18/06 Akeem Durosomo A great film of the decade! 4 stars
1/12/06 j.f. i don't feel the junky love. solid actors, story? what story? humor? if you're stoned? 1 stars
9/05/04 Shawn Biblical Allegory? No! Allusion to Velvet Underground Song Heroin? Yes! 4 stars
4/20/04 A F Euphoric look at the decent into drugs, as opposed to the dark and often disgusting. 5 stars
12/30/03 Samuel great film, Jack Black was hilarious, and Billy Crudup did an excellent job!! 4 stars
12/05/03 Millard Fillmore Me rikey. 4 stars
10/06/03 sarah onlyfor oldies 4 stars
7/28/03 Phil M. Aficionado Crudup is amazing, and the story... well not amazing but OK. 4 stars
6/16/03 Jack Sommersby One of 2000's very best films. Crudup is a revelation. 5 stars
10/18/02 carrot ( lots of great symbolism in this movie... it's about more than just drugs and addiction. 5 stars
9/27/02 rob excellent performances. 5 stars
6/09/02 Phil M. Aficionado The full range of emotions with a sweet/sour/funny/sad/compelling/repulsive soul 5 stars
3/11/02 Melina jesus pleae 1 stars
2/14/02 Bob Marley yeaaaaaaa it's a gaaaaayyyyyyy mooooooooooovvvvvvvviiiiiiieeeeeeee :D :D :D 1 stars
9/06/01 SLICK I believe Palahniuk owes a lot to Denis Johnson & tha film, brilliant but drawn out a bit! 4 stars
9/06/01 Reini Urban Only for younger folks. 3 stars
8/06/01 daniel good movie, some really great parts. samantha morton is a truly amazing actress. 4 stars
2/10/01 Asbury Park Great film. Crudup is phenomenal, reminds me of Sean Penn at his best only better!! 5 stars
9/28/00 Slacker charm Reminiscent of Holden Caulfied 5 stars
9/25/00 The Bomb 69 great performances, average storyline 4 stars
9/20/00 Jeff Crudup is good, the film is blah. 3 stars
9/02/00 Tom The best film I've seen this year. Excellent performances by Crudup and Morton. 5 stars
7/17/00 PJ One of the best films of 2000, great performances, original, beautiful, funny, excellant 5 stars
7/16/00 Losifer entertaining, but you won't miss anything by not watching it. 3 stars
6/29/00 pipeman Has fun moments. Peters out at the end, unfortunately. 4 stars
6/29/00 J At least it was free when I saw it. 3 stars
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  16-Jun-2000 (R)



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