By Joan Alperin
Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill in "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot," opening July 13.
Don't Worry He Won't Get Far On Foot is the story of the crazy, self-destructive, but always fascinating and engaging cartoonist and quadriplegic John Callahan. The title of the film is the caption of one of his cartoons: A cowboy leading a posse who comes upon an overturned wheelchair in the desert.
The cartoon represents the type of work Callahan was known for...edgy, controversial, irreverent, and hilarious newspaper cartoons that developed a national following and gave him a new lease on life after an accident that left him paralyzed.
The film, brilliantly directed and written by Gus Van Sant, based on Callahan's autobiography, is a tribute to the AA's 12 step program but don't let that stop you from seeing this wonderful, intense and poignant film about the healing power of art.
Joaquin Phoenix is absolutely incredible in his portrayal of every emotion that Callahan goes through; from the frustration with the system he depends on for money in order to live and get treatment, to his absolute terror when he realizes he will never walk again, and to his insane alcoholic binges. Callahan is charming, angry, engaging, thoughtful and Joaquin captures everyone of the character's complex emotions.
Another standout character is Jonah Hill who's acting just blew me away. In fact, with his long blond hair and his newly thinned-down body I almost didn't recognize him. He plays Donnie, a wealthy, alcoholic, gay man who becomes Callahan's sponsor and savior as well as his best friend. I predict he will nab the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Jonah is that good.
The film, which takes place in the 70's, has several flashbacks of Callahan's life, before becoming sober and after. Jack Black plays a vital part in the film but to avoid spoilers that's all I'll say.
Don't Worry He Won't Get Far On Foot opens in theatres July 13, 2018. Don't miss it.