JOE
2013, Roadside Attractions, 117 min, USA, Dir: David Gordon Green

Adapted from the acclaimed Larry Brown novel, this taut drama stars Nicolas Cage as Joe Ransom, an ex-con working for a lumber company, who is rarely far from trouble. But when he meets a teen (Tye Sheridan of MUD) who shoulders even heavier burdens, Joe sees an opportunity to be something greater in life and becomes the young man’s protector. Shot on location in Texas with nonprofessional actors rounding out the cast, JOE is among the grittiest and most powerful evocations of the blue-collar South ever filmed.


ADAPTATION.
2002, Sony Repertory, 114 min, USA, Dir: Spike Jonze

From the team who brought us BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, ADAPTATION is a brilliantly offbeat comedy starring Nicolas Cage as “Charlie Kaufman,” a confused L.A. screenwriter overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, sexual frustration and self-loathing - and by the screenwriting ambitions of his freeloading twin brother, Donald (also played by Cage). While struggling to adapt “The Orchid Thief” by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep), Kaufman’s life spins from pathetic to bizarre. The lives of Kaufman, Orlean and orchid poacher John Laroche (Chris Cooper), the subject of Orlean’s book, become strangely intertwined as each one’s search for passion collides with the others’.


BIRDY
1984, Sony Repertory, 120 min, USA, Dir: Alan Parker

Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine play childhood pals who drift apart in high school, only to be brought back together by the emotional and physical devastation of war; after both men serve in Vietnam, Cage desperately attempts to bring his old friend back to life. Using an audacious flashback structure, director Alan Parker crafts one of the most moving, original character studies of its era and showcases career-best performances by Cage and Modine.


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