Caren Weiner Campbell
June 18, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

My Name is Joe

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
Wide Release Date
01/22/99
performer
Louise Goodall, Peter Mullan
director
Ken Loach
distributor
Artisan Entertainment
author
Paul Laverty
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

There’s an odd hopefulness about director Ken Loach’s 16th film — odd because of its subject matter (a recovering alcoholic finds himself forced into drug running), and because Loach has spent three decades chronicling the travails of the British lower classes with unblinking despair. This time, though, he gives his title character some happiness in his romance with Goodall’s Sarah, a nurse, and Loach even makes the tale’s almost melodramatic climax seem lifelike, not exploitative. Indeed, the authenticity can be heard as well as seen in My Name is Joe, as the Scottish accents are so thick, subtitles were added for audiences this side of the Atlantic. A-

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