'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot' (Jul. 13)
Gus Van Sant proves the ideal filmmaker to tackle the true story of John Callahan, an alcoholic partyboy who ends up in car crash that leaves him a quadriplegic. The Drugstore Cowboy director is allergic to tearjerking – as is a dynamite Joaquin Phoenix, who plays Callahan with an exuberance that shows how he finally found his voice as an iconoclastic cartoonist. Jonah Hill, in a caftan, also scores as an eccentric AA sponsor. The offbeat sensibility shared by Van Sant and Phoenix deflects any detours into to biopic formula. They keep it real.