See Joaquin Phoenix in his most powerful role yet as he plays a vengeful vigilante
Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t do conventional genre movies. In Her, he put the weird into rom-com when he fell in love with his phone. In Inherent Vice, he mangled film noir beyond recognition as a dope-head hippie detective. And in I’m Still Here, he redefined the mockumentary to the point where nobody could decide if he was really serious about transitioning from actor to rapper. In fact, it’s still not absolutely clear.
One thing for certain is that no other American actor can match Phoenix for smart, challenging cinema. It’s just about the only rule he plays to in his latest film, You Were Never Really Here, a thriller that defies every genre expectation while delivering a gripping, taut and incredibly visceral experience.
In You Were Never Really Here – which received screenplay and actor gongs at last year’s Cannes – Phoenix plays Joe, a New York war veteran turned hitman, whose niche is tracking down child abusers and dispensing with them using only a ball-pein hammer. Joe is an antihero in the vein of Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle; a traumatised former soldier with an unquenchable thirst to right society’s wrongs.
For all the bluntness of Joe’s approach, he’s the guy to call when you want the job done cleanly. With this in mind, a young politician (played by Alex Manette) gets in touch to say he suspects his teenage daughter has been lured into a sex trafficking ring. He wants Joe to find her, and since he’s in the middle of a Senate election campaign, asks that this nasty business be done out of the spotlight. At this point, British filmmaker Lynne Ramsay – director of arthouse thriller We Need To Talk About Kevin – steers her movie into unexpected territory. To say any more would spoil the brutal turn You Were Never Really Here takes.
Instead, here’s a proposition: ShortList is offering you the chance to see the film first before it hits cinemas on Friday 9 March. Follow the instructions below and see Phoenix exceed those already sky-high expectations yet again.
GET FREE FILM TICKETS JOIN SHORTLIST FILM CLUB FOR AN EXCLUSIVE SCREENING
Be the first to catch You Were Never Really Here with the ShortList Film Club on Monday 5th March at these venues: Vue Islington, Vue Manchester Printworks and Vue Piccadilly Circus. All three screenings start at 6.30pm, so please arrive by 6pm.
Our preview screening tickets always go fast, so to secure yours, head over to seeitfirst.com and enter code 4MGXLZ.