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"JOE GOULD'S SECRET"
(2000) (Ian Holm, Stanley Tucci) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Mild None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate None Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A New York Times writer becomes fascinated with a homeless bohemian and his legendary but unpublished oral history concerning the everyday city folk of the 1940s.
PLOT:
It's New York in the 1940s and Joseph Mitchell (STANLEY TUCCI) has a good life. He's happily married to Therese (HOPE DAVIS), a photographer with whom he has two young daughters, and his career as a writer for the New York Times is going rather well.

Joe Gould (IAN HOLM), on the other hand, is a small, disheveled and somewhat crazy looking, homeless man who lives on the street and gets by with the help and contributions of his many acquaintances throughout the city, including painter Alice Neel (SUSAN SARANDON) and gallery owner Vivian Marquie (PATRICIA CLARKSON). A self-proclaimed scholar of the streets, Gould is best described as a bohemian whose literary masterpiece, "The Oral History of Our Time" - an essay and collection of overheard conversations and remarks from everyday city folk - exists mainly in his head.

When Mitchell first witnesses Gould, he's fascinated by this walking contradiction and becomes acquainted with him, obviously seeing him as the source for a new writing piece. Mitchell eventually publishes his story that not only brings momentary fame to Gould along with the attention of big publisher Charlie Duell (STEVE MARTIN), but also so instantly bonds Gould to Mitchell that the writer soon finds that he can't get rid of his company.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it's highly unlikely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some language and brief nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • IAM HOLM plays a 1940s era, New York bohemian who lives on the streets and has become addicted to others' handouts that keep him fed, financed and touting his unpublished and mostly unwritten manuscript about the thoughts, fears and hopes of everyday city folk. He also uses strong profanity.
  • STANLEY TUCCI plays a writer for the New York Times who does a story on Gould but then begins to feel suffocated by his new acquaintance's constant presence.
  • HOPE DAVIS plays Mitchell's loving wife who, when not caring for their children, is a photographer of people on the street.
  • PATRICIA CLARKSON plays a gallery owner who's befriended Gould and constantly gives him money.
  • SUSAN SARANDON plays an artist who helps out Gould and has painted some abstract nude paintings of him.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity is rated as heavy due to the use of at least 6 "f" words, while a handful of other profanities and colorful phrases are also uttered. We briefly see male full frontal and rear nudity as several men walk single file into a room carrying their clothes (nothing sexual), while an abstract painting shows male genitalia, including one character who has three penises.

    Beyond a moderate amount of drinking and smoking, some behavior that could be imitated, and a character kicking or breaking a few items, the rest of the film's remaining categories are void of any other major objectionable content. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness, however, you may wish to examine our detailed content listings more closely.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Mitchell has a beer in a bar.
  • A person at poetry reading states that Gould doesn't show up for the poetry, but instead for the food and wine.
  • People drink at a party.
  • We see various bottles of liquor in another scene set in a bar where Mitchell orders a martini. The bartender then brings him and Gould two beers and two martinis.
  • Mitchell has a beer while others also drink in a bar. Gould then takes Mitchell's beer as he goes into a phone booth, so Mitchell asks the bartender for another for himself.
  • Mitchell has a martini.
  • Gould has a martini, as do several women, while Mitchell has a beer.
  • A person pours liquor into Gould's mouth.
  • Gould has a beer and then collapses to the floor of a bar, indicating he might be drunk (especially since he later talks about having a hangover).
  • Mitchell and others have drinks at a party.
  • Gould drinks beer.
  • Gould drinks again.
  • People drink at a party.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some lesions on Gould's leg.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Gould is disrespectful to members of a poetry reading where he shows up just for the food and disrupts the proceedings. He also proves to be something of a persistent nuisance to Mitchell (who in turn has his secretary lie to Gould about his whereabouts).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Where the f*ck are we?" "Get the f*ck out," "Piece of sh*t," "What the hell is that?" "Pain in my ass," "Slut" and "Bitch."
  • Gould crashes a poetry reading for the food.
  • Gould starts stripping at a formal party to draw attention to himself (no nudity).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 6 "f" words, 3 "s" words, 3 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 2 damns, 1 ass, 5 uses of "G-damn," 2 each of "Jesus Christ" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Christ," "Oh God" and "Oh Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When Mitchell visits Alice Neel, an artist friend of Gould's, she shows him several abstract paintings she did of Gould. As such, we see several non-realistic renderings of him being nude (we see male full frontal nudity), including one where she states, "I gave him three penises" (and we see that in yet another painting).
  • A statue in a museum shows female full frontal nudity and Gould talks about the touch of arousal being palatable about it.
  • We briefly see male full frontal and/or rear nudity of Gould and other homeless men as they walk single file into a room carrying their clothes (either to be showered or sprayed for lice, etc.).
  • SMOKING
  • Gould smokes more than five times, Mitchell smokes several times (and has burning cigarettes near him in others), while Alice Neel and various other minor and background characters also smoke in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of this true story.
  • Those who are homeless and/or eccentric.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Gould kicks over a street sign and later repeatedly hits a phone handset against the inside of a phone booth until the phone is broken. He then knocks over some chairs and kicks a trash can in anger.



  • Reviewed March 30, 2000 / Posted April 14, 2000

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