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"You Were Never Really Here’ " Topic

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270 hits since 27 May 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0127 May 2017 3:26 p.m. PST

"The last film to screen in competition at the 70th Festival de Cannes, You Were Never Really Here, is a thriller about a vigilante for hire framed through the visually inspired eyes of a cinematic auteur. The anti-hero, Joe (Joaquin Phoenix), is a lonely and troubled man, but he also appears to find some satisfaction from rescuing teenage girls who have been kidnapped or coerced into underage sex work. The visionary behind this lose adaptation of Jonathan Ames' short story is Lynne Ramsey, best known for her beloved debut, Ratcatcher, and her divisive last film, We Need To Talk About Kevin. The result is a compelling character study of an emotionally distraught man set in the trappings of a stylistically impressive B-movie that may find Hollywood studio execs giving Ramsey a second look.

Joe lives a somewhat quiet existence. When he's not traveling the country as a one-man army eliminating whoever is in his way to save the innocent he's caring for, his elderly mother (Judith Roberts) lives a far less dramatic life in their home on the outskirts of New York City. In regards to his character's profession, Phoenix's passionate performance instills a real world legitimacy in Joe, even if the events seem hard to believe. He's stealthy, but brutal, prefering a hammer over a gun as a weapon of choice. That fact in particular often makes Ramsey's action sequences feel like a companion piece to Netflix and Marvel Studios' Daredevil series or Christopher Nolan's quietly effective Batman Begins. He certainly isn't a superhero, but Joe handles his business as though he's about to be one in these action sequences…"
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