Welcome Back Nicholas Cage
Welcome back Nicolas Cage. After a spate of empty action flicks, Cage is back doing what he does best: playing a real, flawed human being in “Joe.”
Joe Ransom (Cage) is an ex-con working a bottom-of-the-barrel job near Houston, Texas. Joe is foreman of a crew of misfits hired to illegally poison pine trees so a more profitable crop could be planted.
Into his life wanders 15-year-old Gary (Tye Sheridan of “Mud”), looking for a job. Joe gives the kid a shot and he is impressed.
When Gary brings his father Wade (Gary Poulter) to work, Joe realizes not only is the old man worthless, he takes out his rage and frustration on his poor son.
Adapted by a 1991 novel by Larry Gordon by Gary Hawkins and directed by David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”), “Joe” is a story of redemption. It is relentlessly violent and crude like its low-life characters, but it holds out hope that goodness and decency will prevail for a boy as good as Gary.
Director Green shot on location in a forlorn part of Texas and cast many non-actors as laborers and townspeople. Principal among these is Gary Poulter as the rotten dad from Hell. Poulter was a real-life alcoholic, homeless street performer who delivered a fine, terrifying “method” performance as a latter-day Pappy from "Huckleberry Finn." Poulter died after filming wrapped.
On the other hand, as the chain-smoking, hard-drinking, anger and violence-prone Joe, Nicholas Cage was reborn as an actor.