Stumbling through the 70's
Jesus' Son
Review by Ross Anthony

Excellent dialogue, direction, and acting injected into a rather bland film. The main character (Billy Crudup) is high on pills for most of this two-hour presentation. Appropriately, the story is told in tangents and a somewhat jostled sequence.

If you don't enjoy being around real people when they're high, you'll probably not enjoy spending nearly two hours with someone acting that way (I didn't). But that's me, plus there are folks who enjoy "drug movies" (as a friend of mine called this one), so perhaps you'll find more to enjoy here than I.

Still, I'm a huge fan of the little star Billy Crudup. He handles this role with apathetic perfection.

If this review hasn't scared you away yet, expect a slowly paced film. Gentle, yet harshly realistic. So realistic it's at times boring. The focus is entirely on Crudup as he retells the meeting of a girl that seems to have meant a lot to him. But, their 1970's love affair is so drug-ridden that I just couldn't share his enthusiasm for her.

Up until near the end, Crudup stumbles through his own life with a sort of disconnection to the small deaths within himself and the real ones around him. The last twenty minutes don't change pace, just perception.

Perhaps a good film to enlighten with a strong dose of simulated reality those innocents who find the drug culture glamorous.

The title is burrowed from the song "Heroin" by Lou Reed, "When I put a spike into my vein, and I'll tell ya, things aren't quite the same, when I'm rushing on my run and I feel just like Jesus' son."

  • Jesus' Son. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Denis Leary, Jack Black, Will Patton, Greg Germann, Holly Hunter, Dennis Hopper.
  • Directed by Alison Maclean.
  • Written by Elizabeth Cuthrell, David Urrutia and Oren Moverman.
  • Produced by Cuthrell, Urrutia, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Margot Bridger a Lions Gate presentation.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:07:06 PDT