My Name is Joe (1998)
Directed by Ken Loach
Cast: Peter Mullan, Louise Goodall
1998 105 minutes
Rated: (for violence and profanity).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, June 25, 1999.
In 1998, Peter Mullan won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for "My Name is Joe," and rightfully so. A serious depiction of a recovering alcoholic (Mullan) who, aside from coaching soccer games and working as an amateur housepainter, has a life that's going nowhere...that is, until he meets the community health worker, Sarah (Louise Goodall). Sarah is a lovely, but cautious woman who isn't looking for a relationship but nonetheless is charmed by Joe. The plot thickens when one of his soccer novices' life is threatened for owing money to a group of drug traffikers, and Joe steps in to help by illegally transporting drugs to them, unbeknownst to Sarah. "My Name is Joe" is a captivating drama with a second stunning performance from Louise Goodall, whose Sarah is not simply the thankless "girlfriend" role, but an independent woman with her own thoughts and beliefs. Adding to the film's clarity are subtitles to help us Americans get over the extremely heavy Scottish accents. The film plays well as both a romance (even if this has been overdone) and a portrait of a lonely man coming to terms with the mistakes in his life.
©1998 by Dustin Putman