|US Release Date||04/30/1953|
Who's taking home awards tonight?
This new girl is a car wreck.
"Joe the King" isn't your usual coming-of-age tale. The movie's 14-year-old hero doesn't get the girl. His experiences growing up in the '70s aren't nostalgic. And his role models are non-existent. What makes Joe memorable is his tenacious spirit, something emphasized by this film's unsentimental approach to his vulnerability. Frank Whaley, an actor making his writing-directing debut, has cast this indie feature with some stars, although the true standout is Noah Fleiss in the title role. From the opening sequence, it's clear that Joe is one of those troubled kids destined for the detention center. In a cameo as a monstrous school teacher, Camryn Manheim proceeds to pull down Joe's pants and spank him in front of his peers after he refuses to acknowledge his father's occupation as the school janitor. Home life isn't getting any better for the youngster. Val Kilmer co-stars as the boy's drunken and abusive dad, and Karen Young plays his absentee mother, who works too much to watch over her family. The boy's closest companion is an older brother (Max Ligosh) who'd rather spend time with his own pals and girlfriends. Ethan Hawke plays a guidance counselor trying to interest Joe in something more substantial than comic books. And John Leguizamo co-stars as the teen's closest thing to an adult friend, a scheming employee at the restaurant where he washes dishes. It would be tempting simply to feel sorry for young Joe. When he's not being berated by his intoxicated pop, he's hounded to cough up the money his dad owes some of the town's less-than-stellar citizens. His employers at the restaurant like to call him all sorts of colorful profanities, and the authorities think he's a criminal in training. But filmmaker Whaley has other designs for his protagonist. For one thing, Joe is a skillful and intelligent petty thief, able to steal candy for his classmates as easily as he pulls off heists to pay for valuables his father has destroyed. Joe's never a total victim, or innocent. The youngster initiates several small crimes, and spends little time trying to channel his energy into more socially acceptable efforts. With pathos, longing and keen instinct, Fleiss endows the young king of the streets with a certain nobility and sadness. Despite his father's abusive behavior, Joe is shown to care deeply about him, just as Joe cares about his mother and brother. The filmmaker's refusal to sentimentalize the boy's nature allows him to develop within a dysfunctional dynamic. At times, Whaley's determination to keep things as raw as possible comes across as hip cynicism, and the film's brutal secondary characters are drawn especially starkly. And although Kilmer conveys the beer-bellied force his role requires, his performance doesn't delve beneath the surface of a man whose destructive tendencies overwhelm his better notions. Leguizamo and Hawke are more affecting in their minor roles, and Young, as Joe's mother, is able to convey both exasperation and affection for her children. Complimenting his smart performance is Whaley's understated direction. As with the screenplay, the filmmaker and his collaborators choose not to lard their drama with unnecessary flourishes. The music by Robert Whaley and Anthony Grimaldi is spare and introspective, which perfectly complements Michael Mayers' simple, effective cinematography. Anchored by Fleiss' strong performance, the film captures a slice of growing up rarely seen in today's adolescent films, and one that's genuinely moving. * MPAA rating: R for language and abusive situations concerning a child. 'Joe the King' Noah Fleiss: Joe Henry Val Kilmer: Bob Karen Young: Theresa Ethan Hawke: Guidance Counselor A 49th Parallel Productions/Forensic-391 Films/Lower East Side Films production; distributed by Trimark Pictures. Director Frank Whaley. Producers Robin O'Hara & Scott Macaulay and Jennifer Dewis & Lindsay Marx. Executive producer Janet Grillo and John Leguizamo. Screenplay Frank Whaley. Cinematographer Michael Mayers. Editors Melody London and Miran Miosic. Costumes Richard Owings. Music Robert Whaley & Anthony Grimaldi. Production designer Dan Ouellette. Art director Mylene Santos. Set dresser Bernadette Jurkowski. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.
The Dixie Chicks stunned America at the Grammy Awards Sunday night by claiming five big prizes, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
|John Ireland||Actor||John Williams||1||1000001|
|Richard Denning||Actor||Paul Regan||1||1000002|
|Suzanne Dalbert||Actor||Margo Wayne||1||1000003|
|Robert Foulk||Actor||Commander Jackson||1||1000004|
|Mike Connors||Actor||Lt Magrew||1||1000005|
|Richard Avonde||Actor||Buzz Olin||1||1000006|
|Cicely Brown||Actor||Blonde Woman||1||1000008|
|Peter Marshall||Actor||Leo Wayne||1||1000012|
|George Milan||Actor||Dave Norton||1||1000013|
|Jean Del Val||Actor||Maurice Ledouz||1||1000017|
|George Dee||Actor||Pierre Neff||1||1000018|
|Ivan Tors||From Story||n/a||120870||4000002|
|Lester White||Director of Photography||n/a||120780||6000001|
|Paul Palmentola||Art Director||art direction||183||9000001|
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