Little Joe

Little Joe

2019
105 minutes
English
Directed by:
Jessica Hausner

Alice (Emily Beecham), a single mother, is a dedicated plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. She has engineered a very special crimson flower, remarkable not only for its beauty but also for its therapeutic value: If kept at the ideal temperature, fed properly, and spoken to regularly, the plant makes its owner happy. Against company policy, Alice takes one home as a gift for Joe, her teenage son, and they playfully christen the breed Little Joe in his honor. As the plant grows, however, so does Alice’s suspicion that her new creations may not be as harmless as their diminutive nickname suggests. Variety writes: “In ‘Little Joe,’ (director Jessica) Hausner works in a shivery and deliberate modernist spook-show style, one that calls up echoes of early David Cronenberg and the Stanley Kubrick of ‘The Shining.’ She holds us in a refined trance, tantalized with fascination at what’s waiting around the corner.”

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