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Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

Rated 14 Accompaniment (Coarse Language, Nudity, Sexual Content) ~ Runs 114 minutes

Dir.: Gus Van Sant, US

Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black

“Joaquin Phoenix plays cartoonist John Callahan, who discovered his artistic calling after being permanently paralyzed at age 21 and getting sober. Not since American Splendor explored the curmudgeonly everyman sensibility of comic-book artist Harvey Pekar has the complicated headspace of a cartoonist been entered with such infectious fondness as in Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. A return for Gus Van Sant to the loose-limbed chronicles of outsider existences in Portland, Oregon, this consistently enjoyable portrait of quadriplegic local hero John Callahan is notable for its generosity of spirit and gentleness. For want of a better word, it's disarmingly chill. In a terrific performance that encompasses countless attitudinal, emotional and physical shifts, Joaquin Phoenix eases into the lead role with equal parts raw pain, ironic humor and eventual mellow acceptance. And in some of his best scenes he's paired with Jonah Hill, who has rarely been more appealing than as John's unfailingly Zen AA sponsor Donnie, a rich, bearded gay dude with flaxen hippie hair, who's equally at home rocking a caftan as he is shaking his groove thing in scoop-sided '70s athletic shorts... Marketing an alcoholic recovery story is a challenge. But there is no shortage of hooks for this funny-sad, sweet, lovingly made tribute to a unique personality. As much as Callahan's rocky ride, the movie is about the hard task of learning to have faith in yourself, which is one of the most universal themes there is... Familiar recovery episodes like seeking forgiveness; apologizing for wrongs; wrestling with weakness, shame and anger; or celebrating small victories all are handled with freshness and compassionate insight... An affecting movie that feels unmistakably like a labor of love.” - David Rooney, the Hollywood Reporter



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August 12