Joaquin Phoenix adds another larger-than-life character to his filmography with the starring role in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot from American auteur Gus Van Sant (Milk). The film tells the engaging, true story of John Callahan, a carefree man who is caught in an unfortunate accident and recovers through the power of an unlikely gift. This captivating film premiered at Sundance and was nominated for the best film award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Callahan (Phoenix, Her; The Master) is a man ready to take on the world, even though he is plagued by a hefty drinking problem and has a knack for telling controversial jokes. After a night of intoxication, he gets in a horrifying car accident and is paralyzed from the waist down. He is stubbornly resistant to the idea of treatment and refuses to give up drinking but despite his protestations, he receives encouragement and support from his devoted girlfriend (Rooney Mara, A Ghost Story; Lion; Carol), his charismatic sponsor (Jonah Hill), and a new-found talent for drawing. His unconventional newspaper cartoons gain a national following and give Callahan the final push he needs to thrive in a new life.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot showcases a distinctive and talented cast who bring their warmth and humanity to a true story full of drama, insight and, most importantly, laughter.
“Van Sant has rebounded with one of his best, a life-affirming sweet-and-sour concoction that recalls such crowd-pleasers as Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester, and which will very likely launch Phoenix and co-star Jonah Hill (as audiences have never seen him before, playing the unlikeliest of life coaches) into the awards conversation.” (Peter Debruge, Variety)
“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.” (David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter)
“The movie radiates considerable compassion, sensitively addressing issues including addiction, recovery and forgiveness. Joaquin Phoenix’s raw, wiry performance never strives for greatness, which only makes it all the more affecting.” (Tim Grierson, Screen International)