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My Name Is Joe [DVD]

Peter Mullan , Louise Goodall , Ken Loach    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Peter Mullan, Louise Goodall, David McKay, David Hayman, Anne Marie Kennedy
  • Directors: Ken Loach
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Park Circus
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009TR7GAC



Can we talk? Everybody is pretty well agreed that Great Britain's Ken Loach is one of our most important filmmakers. On the basis of his work with actors alone--often actors who are unknown until showcased in his films--he commands a place in the modern Pantheon. The problem is that he sounds terminally "worthy"; his films invariably reflect a commitment to framing harsh sociopolitical realities and steeping us in the fight for justice, a square deal or a square meal. They sound, in short, as if they're "good for you"--whereas the fact is that they are almost always damned good, period.

My Name Is Joe makes for an excellent introduction to Loach country--partly because it's just a tad more immediate in its basic viewer appeal. Joe Kavanagh (Peter Mullan), out-of-work Glasgow housepainter, is a terrifically attractive fellow, and though he is also a recovering alcoholic, he seems eminently pulled-together and ready for yeoman service as a movie leading man. The main story line concerns his encounter with and growing attraction to a smart social worker (Louise Goodall). There is nothing star-crossed about their potential love, but each is tough enough to set limits till they've travelled over a distance of mutual ground. Meanwhile, Joe's status as role model among his more emotionally and economically precarious neighbours--an extended family of man--is good for a surprising number of lusty laughs and one fatal, criminal complication that could jeopardise his future. Peter Mullan won a well-deserved Best Actor award at Cannes in 1998, and subsequently directed a family comedy-drama of his own, Orphans. --Richard T. Jameson,

Product Description

Another hard-hitting drama from Ken Loach. Recovering alcoholic Joe Kavanagh (Peter Mullan) is out of work, but spends his time coaching the local football team. When he goes to pick up team member Liam (David McKay), he meets social worker Sarah Downie (Louise Goodall). Although they clash at first, the pair are soon involved in a relationship. Joe learns from Sarah that Liam and his wife, Sabine (Annemarie Kennedy), owe money to local gangster McGowan (David Hayman). In an attempt to help Liam pay off his debt, Joe agrees to do three drugs runs for McGowan. However, his relationship with Sarah suffers when she finds out what he has done.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ken Loach Delivers Another Slice Of Rawness. 19 July 2008
By Mr. B. A. D. Plowman VINE VOICE
"My Name Is Joe" is a typically gritty, unflinching Ken Loach movie from 1998. It stars the excellent Peter Mullan, who gives an amiable performance as recovering alcoholic JOE.

This Glasgow-set story concerns Joe's blossoming relationship with a good-natured social worker named Sarah. The initial harmony of this relationship is soon put under pressure due to Joe's feelings of responsibility for his friend Liam. Liam, you see, has a history of heroin abuse and as a consequence a gang of drug dealing thugs are constantly darkening his door. When Joe learns that Liam is in debt (to the tune of thousands of pounds), his benevolent nature comes to the fore and Joe feels that he has no option but to help his friend. As a result, his relationship with Sarah is threatened and Joe ultimately feels the lure of booze returning to throttle him. The film's climax does not make for easy viewing...

"My Name Is Joe" is one of Ken Loach's most revered movies, and it's easy to see why. Loach is a director who always strives for realism, and it must be said that movies don't come much more "warts 'n' all" than this one. In fact, this movie is frequently so realistic it's actually painful to watch. There is a twitchy heroin-shooting scene that could accurately be described as stomach-churning. There is also a graphic suicide scene which is, frankly, almost UNBEARABLE to watch. Is this movie light-hearted fun for all the family?

That said, there are still moments of humour in this movie to cut through the darkness (mainly involving Joe's hapless football team of delinquents). Be warned, however, that this is far from being a comedy and could leave many viewers feeling emotionally drained. Is it a film to fall in love with? NO. Is it a film to be admired? MOST DEFINITELY.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece by Ken Loach 21 April 2000
By A Customer
This gritty film by Ken Loach is Loach at his best, his excellent direction is matched superbly by Peter Mullan's acting as the lead in this story on Glaswegian life. The film deals with delicate issues of drugs and a crap football team, features central to Scottish lifestyle. If you want a film that gives you realism as you want and expect there is none better than Ken Loach and none better than "My name is joe". This is definitely one of the best British films of the last couple of years!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Name is Joe and I am an alcoholic 16 Jun 2009
By Peter Wade VINE VOICE
My Name is Joe and I am an alcoholic

I am a Ken Loach fan as I liked all the old plays for today in the sixties which were slices of life. This film is certainly that as we follow Joe who is a recovering alcoholic.

There are some funny incidents as when the football club of unemployed turn up in filthy West German football kits. They have to change them as the opposition want to be Germany.

Franz Beckenbauer a fat bold player objects by saying But I have always been Beckenbauer

The referee says if you are Franz Beckenbauer I am the tooth fairy.

After more objections he says

Well Franz you are going to have to change your strip. They do by going topless.

The language is raw but so are the living conditions.

Joe meets and fancies a health worker Sarah. In a very moving section she asks why he gave up drinking. he said he didn't want to tell her as she might hate him.

He ended up beating up his girlfriend and later claiming that he had been drunk but he hadn't. as a result he gave up drink.

He is now on the straight and narrow but he decided to help Liam who owes money to gangsters. Joe decides to help by doing a drug run.

Sarah finds out which breaks their relationship. Things go from bad to worse with fatal consequences for Liam.

The ending is sad but you have a glimmer of hope that they will find each other.

A gritty realistic film which shows people who are in the mire and that they can't necessarily get out of it.

It is filmed like a documentary and you could easily believe that these people are not actors. A good film but some might not like its grim realism.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gritty Glasgow tale 17 April 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"My Name is Joe" was a very fast 100 minutes for me, so it's fair to say that I enjoyed it. The basic story is that Joe is an unemployed recovering alcoholic who meets up with a local health visitor (Sarah) and romance blossoms. However in the world of an inner city Glasgow housing estate - with poverty, deprivation, drugs, and other associated factors such as organised crime, the romance is not straightforward.

This is a hard-hitting film. It contains strong language from the very outset, violence and even intravenous drug use. There are moral undertones though - such as just how hard it is to turn your life around when the spiral and the socio-economic odds are so heavily stacked against you.

Overall, this is a very watchable movie. There are also 28 minutes of extras in the form of interviews with the cast and the director. If you're not Scottish you might just need to put your subtitles on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The name Ken Loach is synonymous with films which have a realism unparalleled by any other major director.

This film is set in Scotland (council estates obviously, this IS a Ken Loach film!) and tells the story of a recovering alcoholic, Joe.

I'd love to discuss some of the plot but I think I might give things away. This is a very personal journey and it would be unfair of me to spoil it.

All I'll say is that Joe has had a dodgy past but finally finds his life in a stable condition. He is a sober, moral man who becomes involved in a situation which compromises his ethics - but feels he has no choice.

This is perfectly acted, and feels so real that I was desperate to know the fate of the characters. Once the film finishes, those characters *still* seem real and maybe thats because to a large extent, they are.

Loach manages yet again to capture the essence of real humanity, this doesn't feel rehearsed, this doesn't feel scripted (and much of it probably isn't), it doesn't even feel acted - this is a real corner of humanity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Really captured what it is like to be in recovery
Educational for my students. Really captured what it is like to be in recovery
Published 28 days ago by michelle baker
3.0 out of 5 stars not to be embarked upon without thought
it is grim
but what else would you expect from ken loach
not a film to cheer you up
some beautiful witty bits
Published 5 months ago by lassie
5.0 out of 5 stars Ken Loach's direction.
What a powerful film; acting and direction are superb. Anyone with a knowledge of addictionn will be more than moved by this film.
Published 13 months ago by John Massie
4.0 out of 5 stars A Learning Experience
A passionate film in its concern for the poorest and for those who one way or another are victims. The passion was filmed and portrayed in an unemotional and dispassionate way,... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Robin Ingram
5.0 out of 5 stars an enlightening gift
i have not viwed this dvd,as i bought it as a present for someone else,however i remember seeing it on the television,and found it most realistic,and alcoholism amd the lifes that... Read more
Published 21 months ago by J. Rousen
4.0 out of 5 stars ken loach classic
Really enjoyed this Ken Loach classic based in Glasgow the storyline was easy enough to follow but the "lingo" with strong Scottish accents not quite so, however this did not... Read more
Published 22 months ago by wobbly duck
5.0 out of 5 stars My name is Joe
Brilliant film, a real must see. Peter Mullen plays a really good part in this film. Received within 2 days of ordering, in excellent condition.
Published 23 months ago by Jasann
5.0 out of 5 stars film review
Another fine film by a brilliant director who captures everyday life and makes it into a wonderfull film,which leaves you laughing and at the same moment leaves you... Read more
Published 23 months ago by greg g
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
This is Loach at his absolute best (as in Kes, Raining Stones and Sweet Sixteen). A powerful and unsentimental tale of working life in Glasgow, with outstanding performances from... Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2011 by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars My name is Joe, Gritty Glaswegian movie
Great movie, another in a long line of great british cinema classics. I saw this movie when it was just out and I thought it was excellent. Had it on tape when it came on T. Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2010 by Mark
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