11 April 2014 | pcrawake
The poison is not in the bottle, it has always been in our hearts
'An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.'
It is hard to describe life. Stories about mermaids fighting wars in different galaxies, that is easy to describe; but writing about life, sometimes all you can say is, 'It's about life'
Joe is a story about a place, a place most people might not be able to conceive: where things are dying, where people survive off liquor and cigarettes, where those who are supposed to love us drive knives into our backs.
Joe (Nicholas Cage) runs a small foresting outfit poisoning weak trees so the land can be replanted with sturdy pine. A troubled life, past, Joe moves from bottle to bottle and day to day, but when he gives a young man named Gary (Tye Sheridan star of the movie 'Mud') a job, the bond they form brings direction into each of their lives. Joe is compelled to help Gary out of the pit dug by his drunk father.
Director David Gordon Green of Prince Avalanche and Snow Angels and Pineapple Express can pretty much cut on all sides of drama. I think the mark of a great Director is you hardly notice he is there. Like Prince Avalance and Snow Angels, the movie's scenes blended so well with the story and characters.
Nicolas Cage is good when he is bad and good when he is good, so, no point in dwelling on him. It's worth watching this movie just to see him.
Tye Sheridan hasn't been acting long, but god damn, he has been in some good movies and he showed a lot of range in this flick, portraying an abused and scared and strong young man.
If you know David Gordon Green, you don't need convincing to see this movie. If you like Cage or Sheridan, you probably will check it out to see them.
Green likes to show certain things: scenes that might not be a part of the story, but add so much to the story in general, the way a writer might prelude a chapter by describing something connected to, but not in line with the characters. Joe has a feel, you can sense it and I was getting a little shaky half way through.
I know places and people, some that might pass for the world in 'Joe'. I have seen people drink themselves evil. I have seen young people fall apart because of those around them. But, I guess there is always the chance of coming out, and surviving, if you keep up the fight.
From an artistic standpoint, there were some plot elements and character developments I didn't think were totally needed. They do however drive the story, which seemed to be their purpose, so I can accept them.
in the end, Joe is a movie about people. I finished this film, thinking, 'There are people out there suffering and I can do something to help them.'