Nicolas Cage is one of those actors that always delivers a unique performance despite whether the film as a whole works or not. His looks and performances always garner a lot of attention keep him being one of the most interesting actors Hollywood. Lately he has been taking on more independent roles and delivering some of his best work. His latest, Joe looks to continue his smaller film trend, but does he bring one of his great performances along with it or will it be more of the strangeness he brings from time to time?
Joe follows an ex-con, who meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin. This is one of those subtle movies that has a lot emotionally happening and worth sticking it out despite it being a bit slow at times. Cage gives one of his more subtle performances in some time and nails it. He brings a clearly tortured soul to the role that is needed to really understand what this guy is dealing with it. They steer clear of too much back story for his character other than what you need and allow his inner torment to slowly grow making for an interesting character. His look is always part of his performances and here it is more rugged and everyman than usual, but the perfect look for the character. Co-star Tye Sheridan does a great job here bringing the pain that his character is dealing with to the forefront without ever going to far overboard. His chemistry alongside Cage is interesting as it isn’t as strong as you would think but it actually helps their performances together. As a whole, some may not think this film has an overall point as it doesn’t have a straightforward direction in regards to big payoff, but instead just lets things come to a boil int eh emotional journey and path these two characters are heading making for an interesting end result.
The format to this film feels a bit like ‘Sling Blade’ in the terms of being a character driven Southern film that lets the actors carry the film as opposed to forcing random action or shock to sell it. There are no big twists here, but instead just a great performance by Cage and another refreshing smaller film in his latest career path. Whether you were a fan before are now or never were before of Cage, this film may change your mind so check it out when it hits stores on June 17th.