a sci-fi film about genetic manipulation, Cannes Best Actress Award

A preview film on genetic manipulation, “Little Joe” earned British actress Emily Beecham the Best Actress Award in Cannes.

Noticed in Cannes in the section Un certain regard in 2014 with Crazy Love, freely adapted from the suicidal life of the romantic poet Heinrich von Kleist, Austrian director Jessica Hausner move to a radically different register, with Little Joe, a science fiction film about genetic manipulation that comes out Wednesday, November 13. In competition at the last Cannes Film Festival, the film was awarded the Best Actress Award to British actress Emily Beecham.

A single mother living with her teenage son, Alice (Emily Beeccham) is a brilliant phyto-geneticist working in a laboratory that works to create new plants. She is developing a flower whose fragrance is supposed to make people happy. Baptized Little Joe in thinking of his son, the powers of this new plant might not be as innocent as they seem.

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Bac Films

From the first beautiful plan on the battery culture of this very graphic red floral plant, Jessica Hausner establishes a pictorial code that will never leave the film. Based on millimeter-scale frames, smooth tracking shots and very tight pastel colors, the image is not aesthetic. His voluntary coldness consistent with his subject around science, is a real staging choice.

Located mostly in a laboratory, the film explores topics that have tested the effects of Little Joe the results about their behavior. If they are indeed appeased, if not happy after being put in contact with him, they seem to lose their personality and all the roughness that made their identity. In this Little Joe remember The Invasion of the Desecrators of Burials, a science-fiction classic signed Don Siegel of 1956, where extraterrestrial plants become the exact avatars of people they have previously “fallen asleep”.

British actor Ben Whishaw in Little Joe by Austrian director Jessica Hausner (Copyright The Coproduction Office)

Without ever really taking himself seriously, showing a beautiful visual invention, and inhabited by experimental music while referring to Japanese Kabuki, Little Joe releases an anxiogenic climate respectful of the paranoid vein of science fiction.

The poster of Jessica Hausner's
The poster of “Little Joe” by Jessica Hausner. (Bac Movies)

Kind : Science Fiction
Director : Jessica Hausner
cast : Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox

Country : Austria / Germany / Great Britain
duration : 1h45
Exit : November 13, 2019
Distributor : Bac Films

Alice, a single mother, is an experienced plant breeder who works for a company specializing in the development of new plant species. She designed a very particular flower, vermilion red, remarkable for its beauty as for its therapeutic interest. Indeed, if you keep it at the right temperature, if you feed it properly and if you talk to it regularly, the plant makes its owner happy. Alice will break her company's bylaws by offering one of these flowers to her teenage son, Joe. Together, they will call her “Little Joe”. But, as the plant grows, Alice is seized with doubts about its creation: perhaps this plant is finally not as harmless as its little name suggests.


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