"A Hard Road to Recovery and Redemption"
What You Need To Know:
Although the Christian worldview of this movie is underdeveloped, the movie ends with a song about leaving your sins behind, turning to God and flying to heaven. These positive aspects are undercut by many pagan elements, including fornication, substance abuse, strong foul language, and other immoral behavior. JESUS’ SON could use a bigger, more emotional payoff. The title, by the way, refers to an ironic song which compares a heroin high with feeling “just like Jesus’ son.
(CC, B, FR, Ab, PaPa, LLL, VV, SS, NN, AA, DDD, MM) Undeveloped Christian worldview with redemptive elements, moral elements, man talks about Jehovah’s Witnesses he meets without rejecting their false religion, anti-biblical elements such as weird hallucinogenic scene where tatoo of heart, crucifix & thorns comes alive for an instant, & strong pagan elements, not all of which are rebuked, even in the movie’s redemptive ending; 50 mostly strong obscenities, 3 strong profanities, 3 mild profanities, & some vomiting scenes; moderate violence including hard-hitting car crash kills some people, fights, man shot dead in stomach (with blood), image of man with bloody head, & implied accidental killings of rabbit & its litter; much implied fornication & one scene depicting fornication; upper male & female nudity & several scenes with men & women in underwear; alcohol use, drunkenness & alcoholism; substance abuse & recovery theme throughout movie, including heroin use, popping pills, use of marijuana, & heavy smoking; and, miscellaneous immorality such as stealing, sexual promiscuity, irresponsibility, jealousy, abortion, & voyeurism, most of which, but not all, is rebuked by implication.
JESUS’ SON is based on short stories by Denis Johnson about a drug addict who finds some redemption. Billy Crudup plays the title character, a young man who is a complete failure in life when viewers first meet him. He is such a complete failure, in fact, that some of the men he encounters call him by an obscene name. Billy’s character falls in love and takes heroin, pops pills and smokes pot with his girlfriend and other people. The man and his girlfriend have a roller coaster relationship. When a fight with her results in her suicide, his guilt finds him back on the road to recovery while working at a home for senior citizens and disabled people. There, the young man hears the beautiful singing voice of a Mennonite Christian woman. His experiences eventually appear to lead him toward a possible Christian conversion.
JESUS’ SON is humorous, dramatic and satirical but could use a bigger, more emotional payoff at the end. Viewers also may not like the fact that the movie never shows how, exactly, the main character gets over his drug addiction before working at the home. Still, Billy Crudup delivers a really fine performance as the main character, as he did with this spring’s WAKING THE DEAD. It’s time for Hollywood to start considering this young actor for bigger roles in bigger movies.
Although the Christian worldview of this movie is not developed as fully as it should be, the movie ends with a song talking about leaving your sins behind, turning to God and flying to heaven. These positive aspects are undercut, however, by many pagan elements, including fornication, substance abuse, strong foul language, and other immoral behavior. There are far more subtle, more tasteful ways to depict such rampant immorality than those that JESUS’ SON chooses. The title, by the way, refers to an ironic song which compares a heroin high with feeling “just like Jesus’ son.” The words are not meant as a bigoted slam against Jesus Christ and His Church although the analogy is abhorrent.