Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Movie: A saint in a roughneck’s clothing

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Movie is “Joe” (2013):

Sometimes saints don’t have halos. Sometimes saints drink whiskey and are violent men like Joe (Nicholas Cage).

I am not saying that Joe is the kind of guy I would hang with. Most likely not. But I can say this. Joe is the kind of man I’d want with me if I landed in a dark alley on a Saturday night and a bunch of men were trying to rob me.

Joe has one heck of a temper. It’s that anger that landed him in prison for twenty-seven months. Now that he’s out he has one purpose in life. That purpose is to restrain that tiger of a rage. Once it’s let out of its cage there may be no stopping it. That anger only comes out when somebody starts messing with him or doing his friends wrong.

Joe manages a crew. Their job is to poison brush trees. Then others can come and clear the land and plant pine trees. One day a fifteen year old drifter name of Gary (Tye Sheridan) asks for a job.

“I pay an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work,” Joe says.

The boy is agreeable. The boy fits right in with Joe’s crew. But soon Joe finds out he has a new purpose in life. To rescue that boy from the cold-blooded mistreatment of the boy’s pappy (Gary Poulter).

I first met Joe in Larry Brown’s novel, Joe. The opening chapter really had me going and I didn’t want to stop. And what a read it was. At the time I said, “This is Hemingway in Steinbeck territory.”

With “Joe”, director David Gordon Green has given us a film about a people that don’t have movies made about them much. The hard working blue collar folk who live close to  the edge.

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