Little Joe



Lark Theatre Sat, Oct 5, 2019 6:00 PM
Lark Theatre Fri, Oct 11, 2019 2:00 PM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Mind the Gap
Running Time:105 min.
Premiere Status:US
Director:Jessica Hausner
Producer:Bruno Wagner
Bertrand Faivre
Philippe Bober
Martin Gschlacht
Jessica Hausner
Gerardine O’Flynn
Screenwriter:Jessica Hausner
Géraldine Bajard
Cinematographer:Martin Gschalcht
Editor:Karina Ressler
Cast:Emily Beecham
Ben Whishaw
Kerry Fox
Kit Connor
Phénix Brossard
Lindsay Duncan
Print Source:Magnolia Pictures
Note Writer:Tim Grierson


What if our dark future doesn’t involve a grim zombie apocalypse but rather a perpetual blissed-out smile? That’s the provocative premise of Austrian director Jessica Hausner’s unsettling drama, in which Alice (Emily Beecham, who won the Best Actress award at Cannes, for her insightful and ever-so-slightly discomforting performance), a single mother and scientist, helps create a new breed of plant that inexplicably has the ability to make its owner happy. What initially seems like a money-making bonanza ends up having disturbing side effects, and what’s especially chilling about Little Joe is its deceptively low-key vibe. Making her English-language debut, Hausner (Lourdes, Amour fou) creates an aestheticized tone in which life itself seems lobotomized, drawing comparisons to other eerily surreal works of smart science fiction from the likes of Stanley Kubrick and Yorgos Lanthimos. Featuring a sharp ensemble that includes Ben Whishaw and MVFF fave Kerry Fox, Little Joe is a satirical and unnerving commentary on our “This is fine” age, in which the true nightmare is society’s constant desire to escape reality at any cost.

Additional Information

Jessica Hausner began her career with the short film Flora in 1996, which won the Leopard of Tomorrow at the Locarno Festival. Inter-view, her graduation film at the Filmacademy Vienna, won the Prix du Jury of the Cinéfondation at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999. She made her feature debut with Lovely Rita (2001). Her other films include Hotel (2004); Toast (2006); Lourdes (2009), winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice Film Festival; and Amour Fou (2014).