Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018)

“Maybe you were weakened so you could become strong … You ever think of it like that? The path to enlightenment is to know yourself.” Based on the memoir of the same name by cartoonist John Callahan (1951-2010), Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot features strong performances from Joaquin Phoenix as Callahan, Jonah Hill as “Donnie Green,” Rooney Mara as “Annu” and Jack Black as “Dexter.” Directed by Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy), the film doesn’t pull any punches as it follows Callahan from drunken slacker to paralyzed alcoholic following a horrific car accident to recovering addict and ultimately successful cartoonist noted for his offbeat (and often politically incorrect!) humor. In a 1992 New York Times interview, Callahan remarked, “My only compass for whether I’ve gone too far is the reaction I get from people in wheelchairs, or with hooks for hands … Like me, they are fed up with people who presume to speak for the disabled. All the pity and the patronizing. That’s what is truly detestable.” Callahan was also a songwriter who released a CD in 2006 called Purple Winos in the Rain, which features a cameo appearance by none other than Tom Waits. By the way, Robin Williams was originally set to play the role of Callahan in the 1990s. Can you imagine?

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