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Cage escapes the Hollywood standard in ‘Joe’ By William Lukitsch Entertainment Editor A-list actor Nicholas Cage broke away from the inflated Hollywood film scene to slum with indie film director David Gordon Green in “Joe.” “Joe” is a dark drama, based on the novel by Larry Brown that bears the same name. Green assembled a minor league cast of unfamiliar actors to surround Cage in this artistic endeavor. Cage plays Joe; an honest, hardworking ex-con that spends his days leading a tree-removal crew through woods with poison-filled hatchets and his evenings at the local brothel. He is an essential part of the rural, one-horse Texas town that he resides in, despite his affinity for liquor, heavy metal, and hookers. Tye Sheridan played the part of Gary for his second major supporting role since “Mud” with Matthew McConaughey. Gary, at 15 years of age, is the product of a terrifyingly violent home led by his stumbling abusive father, and motivated by his obligation to his passive mother and helpless sister. He finds a job on Joe’s crew and forms a bond with the man by showing his impeccable work ethic and desire to surpass his

hardships. Joe drinks whiskey like water, which amplifies his compulsive violent behavior. Throughout the film, he is shrouded in a perpetual cloud of cigarette smoke and mystique. As the bond between Joe and Gary grows, the script reveals vague hints of his checkered past. The minor actors in this film evoke a deep sense of honesty in characters they represent. Green recruited first time actor Gary Poulter as Wade, the antagonist alcoholic father. Poulter was living on the streets of Austin, Texas before plunging into this movie next to blue-blood Joe (Nicholas Cage) and Gary (Tye Sheridan) form friendship. [Roadside Attractions] Cage. His authenticity gave Wade an inimitable quality that made flict and brutal violence as the characters the bill, but his supporting cast served his horrific actions feel incredibly realis- strive to break through his constraints, as the meat and potatoes of this movie. tic. Wade takes unthinkable measures to or wallow in them. Cage has a few scenes “Joe” extracts a poignant view of addicattain his drug, subjecting his family to where he overacts, and he still hasn’t fig- tion, poverty, and friendship. jarring demented behavior and horrific ured out how to do a southern accent, violence. but his overall characterization of Joe is William Lukitsch can be contacted at “Joe” is filled with unexpected con- good. Cage may be the biggest name on

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