Starring Ben Whishaw and Emily Beecham, the first thing that stood out about Little Joe, the sci-fi / drama about a genetically modified plant designed to make people happy is the film’s premise. Especially the creepy factor rooted in the idea that senior plant breeder and single mother Alice (Beecham) may have to choose between her actual teenage son and her ‘other son’ Little Joe – her happiness inducing plant.
The second key highlight is the colours in director Jessica Hausner’s film. Particularly Alice’s blouses, the backgrounds she appears in front of in several scenes and the way both worked so well with the colour of her beautiful red hair.
I truly wish that I had a longer list of favourite things about Little Joe but unfortunately that’s not the case here. I wanted to like the execution of the story / the challenges faced by a single working mother with a teenage son but there’s something quite simplistic and surface level about it all.
I’m certainly no scientist but some of the the dialogue in Little Joe – sometimes pertaining to the science sounded a tad amusing and not in .a good way. There’s also a scene where the yanking of an arm supposedly led to what seemed like an overly dramatic fall that I simply didn’t buy.
Last last but in no way least, the continuous beep sound effect among others that kept happening every so often, plus the questionable musical score. Let’s just say that I’m not a fan of prolonged sounds that are irritating and have directly nothing to do with what’s happening in a scene.
As for the question of whether you should watch this? Only if you really, REALLY must. The idea was promising but the story and general execution sadly didn’t deliver for me.
Happy Film Loving