Little Joe (2020)

Jessica Hausner directs Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw and Kerry Fox in this sci-fi drama where a plant geneticist designs a flower that pollinates happiness but might delete all genuine emotions.

Visually this is a treat to look at from the colour coded laboratories to Beecham’s pale, buttoned-up wardrobe. If it was just a film about her choosing her silk tracksuit for household lounging I might give it 10/10. Unfortunately it is a stilted Invasion of the Body Snatchers reduction. Unwilling to deliver terror and happy to leave things so frustratingly open ended so you can scratch your head over whether its an allegory about the pressures of being a working mother, the pharmaceutical industry or conforming to societies ideas of sanity… or even the unfair distrust of mature women in working environments… If you can be bothered to care to scratch. There’s a lot potentially going on beneath the surface but once you take the tight production design out of the equation that surface is very thin. And stretched. Not enough happens to hold your attention for 90 minutes and this feature lasts almost two (painful) hours. The subtle dystopian ideas hinted at could have made better impact in a 20 minutes short. Boring ultimately.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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