‘Joe Bell’ Review: Far Trek

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In general, audiences don’t go to the movies to watch unprejudiced people embarking on boring pursuits, no matter how noble or well-intentioned. And this year, I’ve seen few more boring cinematic images of Mark Wahlberg traveling across America as the title character.

Seriously directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the film dramatizes. Joe’s true storyAn Oregon mill worker who decides to march to New York in honor of his gay son, Jadin (Reid Miller). Joe’s job is to raise awareness of the dangers of bullying that 15-year-old Jadin faces daily at the hands of his cruel classmates before taking his own life. As presented here (screenplay by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry), the real duty of the father is redemption.

Flashbacks reveal that Joe was a volatile, conservative father who was dissatisfied with Jadin’s orientation and the lone male visibility on the cheerleading squad – without being overtly homophobic. (He’s also the kind of guy who buys a big-screen TV while his patient wife, played by a no-nonsense Connie Britton, waits for a new washing machine.) But once Joe hits the road, the movie turns Jadin into an emotional character. a tool showing his father’s transformation from brief insensitivity to self-punishing repentance.

The brutal and well-played “Joe Bell” is the story of a martyr. Joe punishing, months of walking, chronicled on facebook and full of downward didacticism, punctuated by interactions with bigots and sympathizers.

“It’s hard to stand strong where there are more churches than gays,” a stranger tells Joe in a movie that seems far less concerned with Jadin’s pain than his father’s.

Joe Bell
Rated R for homophobic insults and reprehensible behavior. 1 hour 30 minutes. In movie theaters.

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