Joe Starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan Review

Posted 10 years ago by myetvmedia

Joe is a riveting, gut wrenching tour de force peering into the more degenerate side of the deep South – the backwoods of Texas. But it could be anywhere, anywhere that human values are set against hard times and desperate circumstances. Director/Screenwriter David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Prince Avalanche) has had this one on his radar for some time and finally the stars aligned. Nicholas Cage executes the perfect impersonation of Joe, a man almost 50 still struggling with his demons, virile in every way and quick to defend injustice; violent and passionate – on his own terms. 9 am is a difficult hour to dive into Joe and Cage’s performance based on the character in Larry Brown’s best selling book of the same name, but the movie is filled with a cast of characters that mesmerize on many levels. A number of the actors including Mr. Jones, Gary’s (Tye Sheridan) violent, drunken father are not trained actors at all but residents of the town where the movie was shot. They bring an incredible sense of realism to the movie.

Despite having an abject drunk for a father, a mute sister and feeble mother, young Gary Jones (Tye Sheridan), a homeless 15 year old, burns with passion, energy and determination. Gary seems to have an irrepressible sense of invincibility typical of his age, a contagious desire to please and surprising optimism. He falls into Joe’s sphere one day when things are horribly rough; he is looking for work and finds a man with compassion who reads the signs and sees a kid in trouble. Joe instinctively puts himself in the line of fire by taking the young man under his wing. Joe is a tough man with a rough exterior and a gentle heart but he is no gentleman or lady’s man, women will find no candle lit dinners. He has his own archaic code of chivalry. Joe seethes with deep anger and remorse ‘live by the sword, die by the sword’. Joe and Gary strike up a mutual admiration and young Gary is totally captivated by a man he can really look up to.

Ronie Gene Blevins delivers a difficult and convincing performance as one of the most degenerate men in the story, completely driven to the dark side with a single minded burning vengeance. Gordon Green has done a masterful job peeling back the layers to reveal a side of life we shudder to think is the reality for those unfortunate enough to live in such desperate circumstances, whether self induced or not. The screening of Joe was held at the 70th Venice Film Festival with Nicholas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Ronie Gene Blevins and David Gordon Green present for its world premiere.

Watch David Gordon Green and Nicolas cage talk about the film at the Venice International Film Festival here.

Moira Romano

Shown at this year’s TIFF13 : Toronto International Film Festival and the 70th Venice Film Festival (La Biennale di Venezia)

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