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)
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."
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.
1967 POOR COW
1972 FAMILY LIFE
1979 BLACK JACK
1981 LOOKS AND SMILES
1990 HIDDEN AGENDA
1993 RAINING STONES
1994 LADYBIRD, LADYBIRD
1995 LAND AND FREEDOM
1996 CARLA’S SONG
1998 MY NAME IS JOE
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
Cast: David McKay (Liam), AnneMarie Kennedy (Sabine), Peter Mullan (Joe), Louise Goodall (Sarah), Gary Lewis (Shanks), Lorraine McIntosh (Maggie)
Nominations and Awards
- European Film 1998
- European Actor 1998
- Feature Film Selection 1998