Jesus’s Son: Alison Maclean’s Second Feature, Starring Billy Crudup

Alison Maclean’s compelling directorial debut “Crush” (1992) gained wide recognition in the global festival circuit for its candid exploration of sexual identity in a seemingly “normal” environment.

Maclean’s second film, “Jesus’s Son,” is adapted by Elizabeth Cuthrell, David Urrutia and Oren Moverman from a gripping collection of short stories by acclaimed author Denis Johnson.

The film unfolds in a dreamlike imagery, evoking the youth subculture of the 1970s, centering on a hero who believes that he possesses healing powers.

Billy Crudup is perfectly cast as a man who wants to do good, but his attempts to help people always result in disaster. He was hitchhiking when picked by a car that he knew was going to crash. He also knew that he would survive. With the infallible air of an angel, he tries hard to live a righteous life as he wanders around.

The film cuts back and forth from his surreal adventures and road travels that bring him closer to his one true love (played by Samantha Morton) and eventually lead him to redemption.

A uniquely segmented narrative structure and The exceptional ensemble cast, that includes in addition to Crudup and Morton, indie actors Dennis Hopper, Holly Hunter, and Denis Leary, elevates the film above its overly fragmented and episodic narrative structure.