Little Joe
Little Joe

Little Joe

classified 12A


Please note: This was screened in Feb 2020

Jessica Hausner
Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox
105 mins, 2019, UK | Austria | Germany
Primary language:

Austrian director Jessica Hausner's (Lourdes) first English language feature is a sci-fi horror about a genetically engineered plant designed to lift peoples' moods.

Emily Beecham (who picked up the Best Actress award at Cannes for her performance) stars as Alice, a botanist and single mother who, along with her lab partner Chris (Ben Whishaw), engineers a crimson flower whose scent induces happiness (she names it 'Little Joe' after her son). As it grows, however, Alice suspects that her new creation might not be as harmless as its nickname suggests, and it might even have an agenda all of its own...

An unnerving, philosophical experiment that shakes assumptions around how and why we medicate and how we manage our emotions, Little Joe is a witty and unsettling mix of Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Little Shop of Horrors, but with Hausner's own uniquely eerie style. Boasting an eye-popping colour palette, stunning cinematography and a high-pitched suspenseful synth score by Japanese composer Teiji, this chilling film is a feast for the senses... and an unsettling metaphor for the age of Big Pharma.

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