Jesus' Son

Jesus' Son, adapted by writer-director Alison Maclean from a short-story collection by Denis Johnson, documents another drug odyssey, this one set in the 1970s. Billy Crudup stars as FH, for Fuck Head, a junkie thief stuck in a doomed liaison with drugs and the volatile Michelle (a terrific Samantha Morton) until a job at an Arizona rehab center offers him a shot at redemption. Maclean keeps her mesmerizing film spinning from hilarity to heartbreak, offering sharp supporting turns by Jack Black as a disorderly orderly, Denis Leary as a crazed divorcee and Holly Hunter as a disabled patient. Still, it's Crudup, an actor of fire and grace, who makes this fuckhead worth watching.

From The Archives Issue 381: October 28, 1982