BRING THE HAMMER.
Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is hired by a state senator to rescue his daughter who’s been kidnapped and held prisoner in a New York brothel… Another engrossing thriller-drama from the We Need to Talk About Kevin director; once again, dark childhood experiences is a driving force. Flashbacks reveal the sad events that shaped Phoenix’s brutal, miserable character who’s taking care of his mother when he’s not cleaning up among criminals. A violent and relentless film with an economically told revenge story, anchored by a perfectly grim and vulnerable performance by Phoenix. Lynne Ramsay’s visuals is another reason we’re hooked.
2018-U.S.-Britain-France. 89 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Rosa Attab, Pascal Caucheteux, Rebecca O’Brien, Lynne Ramsay, James Wilson. Written and directed by Lynne Ramsay. Novel: Jonathan Ames. Music: Jonny Greenwood. Cast: Joaquin Phoenix (Joe), Ekaterina Samsonov (Nina Votto), Alex Manette (Albert Votto), John Doman, Judith Roberts, Alessandro Nivola.
Cannes: Best Actor (Phoenix), Screenplay.
Last word: “[Phoenix] started really bulking up in New York six weeks before. We had a small window, but I wanted him before I started writing it, which is unusual for me because I don’t usually have someone in mind. He was changing before my eyes, he put on all that weight, and then for his next film he had to lose it all again within a few weeks. He really puts himself totally inside something. It’s important for him to come in early, so he can really understand the filmmaker, where you’re going with something. He’s very intelligent—that makes you look at things that might be more obvious in the script, clichés. It was like jamming, working with him.” (Ramsay, Film Comment)