Another trip to the Watershed cinema this afternoon – this time to see David Gordon Green’s bleak and violent film, “Joe”. Based on the 1991 novel by Larry Brown, the film focuses on the life of Joe Ransom (played by Nicolas Cage) - a man with a pretty brutal past, a drinker, a gambler and someone has a long-running feud with one of the local tough guys. But he’s also a trusting and inspiring man to many within the local community (Ransom employs a road crew of labourers to poison trees on behalf of a local lumber company – the government doesn’t allow healthy trees to be felled!). At the start of the film, he employs a 15 year-old boy (a very willing and able worker) and Ransom takes him under his wing. The boy’s father (wonderfully played by Gary Poulter – a former true-life down-and-out who sadly died not long after the film’s completion) is a monstrous thug and abusive drinker who is forever smacking his son. Ransom is aware of the situation and decides to intervene (rather than ignore it and allow the boy to sink into the sort of darkness that once consumed him)… despite the consequences.Frankly, I’m not a great fan of Nicolas Cage… but I thought he was excellent in this film. It’s definitely NOT one of those gentle films you might watch on television on a wet Sunday afternoon, but it’s definitely worth seeing!
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