It has become so easy to rip on Nicolas Cage that one tends to forget that beneath the posturing, the bug-eyes, and the over-acted madness is a man who once won an Oscar. Cage has always been capable of nuanced performances; we just don’t get to see them very often any more. Hopefully that will change with the release of Joe, the David Gordon Green film that premiered at the Venice Film Festival and stars Cage behaving, for once, in a relatively calm and sedate manner.
Joe features Cage as ex-con Joe Ransom who hires a 15 year old Gary (Tye Sheridan) to work for him. The boy comes from a quintessentially broken home, with a father who beats him and a mother who’s obviously checked out. He finds a role model in Joe, although he could perhaps do a bit better. Based on what the trailer shows, things are going to be tough going for Joe and Gary, as they are faced with violence, poverty, and the darkness of their own natures.
What’s impressive about the trailer are the number of opportunities Cage has to overact, and the fact that he remains remarkably controlled. This is not to say there are no explosive moments – Joe obviously has a violent streak himself, even if he does feel protective of Gary. But there is none of the standard Cage posturing and screaming, no gritted teeth or maddened eyes. For the first time in far too long, Cage is actually acting.
Roadside Attractions will release Joe in the US on April 11th, 2014. Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments.
Source: The Playlist