Because theatrical-to-cable windows are still pretty big (unlike theatrical-to-DVD, which is tiny these days), there aren’t that many 2014 year-end list contenders on TV this month. But tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern, Epix will be showing Joe, which is worth seeing for two list-worthy performances. Nicolas Cage is as good as he’s been in years as the title character, a rage-filled southerner trying to keep himself under control for the sake of the small business he owns and for the teenager named Gary (played by Mud’s Tye Sheridan) that he’s mentoring. And the late Gary Poulter is electrifying as Wade, Gary’s violent, alcoholic father. Poulter was reportedly a sickly, homeless drunk when director David Gordon Green cast him as Wade, and he died in a ditch before Joe opened. Poulter’s unforced naturalism sets a pace that Sheridan and Cage follow, while Green returns to vivid rural slice-of-life mode after too many years of making mainstream stoner comedies like Your Highness and The Sitter. Adapting a Larry Brown novel (with a script by Gary Hawkins), Green lays the atmosphere on thick, while exploring a milieu of gruff men with hair-trigger tempers.
December 03, 2014 Cable Pick Of The Day