Review: ‘Joe’ 6.18.14

This is a strong, well constructed, assured directing effort by David Gordon Green, who as you may know, has recently gotten back in touch with making gritty social dramas like he did at the start of his career with films like ‘George Washington’ and ‘All The Real Girls’ over more Hollywood based fare like ‘Pineapple Express’, ‘Your Highness’, and ‘The Sitter’. You can tell, especially with this film, that’s he’s getting back in touch with his roots of telling bleak social dramas set in the South. Nicolas Cage, in what might be his finest, multi layered work since ‘Leaving Las Vegas’, just goes to prove that he’s a fine actor if given the right material (which is rare I know) and really shines here giving a stellar performance, as does Tye Sheridan, who I have to take off my hat to after a string of back-to-back quality films (‘The Tree of Life, ‘Mud’, & now this). He’s proving to be one of the promising young actors (only 17) in the business. Heartfelt, raw, confident storytelling. In a film that was just graded slightly lower was because it was a bit slow to start. This is one, in formulating my “best of the 1st half of 2014”, that is high on my list of honorable mentions. Definitely worth seeking out.

Grade: B/B+

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