UK

Synopsis

"Müller. Netzer, Vogts, the Emperor Franz and the rest trot out an to the pitch. Sadly no one cheers, This is not West Germany in the Seventies hut Glasgow in the Nineties and the manager is not Helmut Schoen but Joe Kavanagh.
There are two things about Joe. He's thirty-seven years old and, as he says, Joe Kavanagh is all he's got. That's not quite true. He has his family, the eleven lads and best friend Shanks, that are his team. What they lack in skill they make up in cheerful aggression.
Like them, Joe is a batter. It's the only way to keep his demons at bay. However, Joe is more fragile than he looks." (Ken Loach, Director)

THE STORY
Joe is an the wagon, but still raw atter chaotic years of drinking. He is bursting with energy, de t ermined to live hie to the fall and ums the warst foothall team in Glasgow. Sarah, private and independent, is a health visttor itho live& for her work.
They cross swords over a young c °unk. Liani and Sabine, who are st roggling to maintain a seiabtanze ol family life for themsel yes and their Inne boy, amidsl threats from loan•sharks and Chose posed hy their own devils. Joe arid Sarah are both comrnitted in their own ways to helping Liam and Sabine, and are thrown together because of them. A wild romance begins, but in a lite where the choices are never simple. can their love survire?
"Isupposelwanted to see twa tiery personalities go an an adrentur e, and test the possibility of building a fite together. Joe is still a powder keg, bot with a lturiger and a passim to rnake up for lost time and live hie to the teil. Sarah has a fuifilling lite, gond friends, her own agenda hut who can resist a lew more colours in the rainbow. But what excites Sarah about loe when she's with him, may well terrify her when she's an her own. Relationships are never custom ordered, this one less than most. Enjoying it and or destroying if seem at times perilously dose for Joe and Sarah, and perhaps, for many others hesides." (Paul taverty, Screenwriter)

"Ken Loach's second collaboration with screenwriter Paul Laverty (who wrote Carlo, 's Song), My Name Is Joe was, as usual, expected to win its director a major prize when it debuted in competition at Cannes this May. And, as usual, Loach came away empty-handed. His title character, Peter Mullan, did win the Best Male Performance prize, however, and stressed the film's Scottish setting by turning up in a kilt to collect the scroll.
Mullan plays Joe, a recovering alcoholic who coaches what is probably the worst football team in Scotland and supplements his dole money by doing the odd painting and decorating job. And it is one of these that brings him into contact with fiercely private social worker Sarah (Louise Goodall).
An uneasy relationship starts, complicated by their joint involvement in the problems of a young couple, Liam and Sabine (David McKay and AnneMarie Kennedy), Joe because Liam is on the team, Sarah because Sabine is a client. In the end, for all their differences, Joe and Sarah are brought closer together in a relationship which, like everything else in their part of Glasgow, is never going to be easy."



Director's Biography

Ken loach resists talking about the filming methods that he pioneered more than 30 years ago. "It is just another film," he says. What matters is "the lives and emotions of ordinary people coping with an impossible situation, who, when given a voice, show unsuspected talents, spiritual energy and superhuman strength.
What's important is the content, to feel respect for the people you see on the screen," he says. "You've just got to trust your instincts, and the more you talk about it, the more you lose that sense of going on a hunch."
Loach resists the suggestion that, after his international epics LAND AND FREEDOM and CARLA'S SONG, MY NAME IS JOE marks a retreat to a smaller, more intimate format. "It's smaller in terms of logistics, with one main location and a smaller cast, but that doesn't mean it has less emotional impact or resonance than a bigger more ambitious project."
Ken Loach was inspired by Glasgow during the making of CARLA'S SONG, whose first half is set in the city, and has long enjoyed working with Scottish actors. "Joe" offers him an opportunity to explore Glasgow's social problems in close-up and to collaborate once again with actors he had come to respect on his previous films.

Filmography:
1967 POOR COW
1969 KES
1972 FAMILY LIFE
1979 BLACK JACK
1981 LOOKS AND SMILES
1986 FATHERLAND
1990 HIDDEN AGENDA
1991 RIFF-RAFF
1993 RAINING STONES
1994 LADYBIRD, LADYBIRD
1995 LAND AND FREEDOM
1996 CARLA’S SONG
1998 MY NAME IS JOE
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Ken Loach

Written by: Paul Laverty

Produced by: Rebecca O´Brien

Cinematography: Barry Ackroyd

Editing: Jonathan Morris

Production Design: Martin Johnson

Costume Design: Rhona Russell

Original Score: George Fenton

Main Cast: Louise Goodall (Sarah), Gary Lewis (Shanks), Lorraine McIntosh (Maggie), David McKay (Liam), AnneMarie Kennedy (Sabine), Peter Mullan (Joe)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Film 1998
  • European Actor 1998
  • EFA Feature Film Selection 1998