Some movies are just timely. With the rise in bullying in schools, especially to members of the LGBTQ, it may be time for some of the harder stories to be told. While there are thousands of happy endings out there, not every member of the LGBTQ has that experience, or their family doesn’t have that story to tell. And now, thanks to Roadside Attractions, one of these stories is coming to the big screen.
Joe Bell follows the movie’s namesake as he takes his cross-country walk for redemption and forgiveness. While at first, his son joins him on his journey, their history and the true story quickly comes into focus. If you’ve seen the trailer before seeing the film or even read the synopsis, you already know what to expect here. But the movie does one thing excellently – it shows that everyone grieves differently and it may be in extreme ways. The movie focuses on Joe’s not only sense of loss but his grief as well. It shows how he used his grief to try to educate others, in the best way he knew how and how he tried to use his son’s story to bring awareness to bullying and other issues.
While Joe Bell has a tragic ending, one that if anyone followed his journey learned of years ago, it also has a tragic beginning as well. It’s this constant struggle for understanding, forgiveness, learning and striving for redemption that makes the story so compelling. It is one that many families have dealt with after a tragic loss of a loved one under any circumstance. But more importantly, Joe Bell brings to the screen a story that is often brushed under the rug, and one that should be out there.
About Joe Bell
(Only in theaters) From filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green (MONSTERS AND MEN; upcoming KING RICHARD), along with the Academy Award-winning writing team behind BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (Diana Ossana & Larry McMurtry) and Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg, JOE BELL tells the intimate and emotional true story of an Oregonian father who pays tribute to his gay teenage son Jadin, embarking on a self-reflective walk across America to speak his heart to heartland citizens about the real and terrifying costs of bullying.
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Reid Miller, Connie Britton and Gary Sinise.
Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green.