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Crazy Joe (2013)

CRAZY JOE is a independent short film about Joe, a man who has suffered a great loss after a tragic accident. He tries to move on and get through life, with the help and love of his 11-year... See full summary »

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Brian Buckley Smith ... Conrad Rumsfield
Timothy Carr ... Uncle Tim
Hannah Frantz ... Lizzie Russell
Jason Lethert ... Burkett
... Mr. Palmer the Boss
James Steinberg ... Joe Russell
James Tarbert ... Huggins
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Storyline

CRAZY JOE is a independent short film about Joe, a man who has suffered a great loss after a tragic accident. He tries to move on and get through life, with the help and love of his 11-year old daughter, Lizzie. Some of the townsfolk deem Joe crazy because he sometimes talks to himself. And he has imaginary friends... or are they? Written by Anonymous

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Short | Drama

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23 June 2013 (USA)  »

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Award-Quality
4 July 2013 | by See all my reviews

What sets 'Crazy Joe' apart from other short films of the genre is its heart. At its core, 'Crazy Joe' is a tender story about coping with grief and the lengths to which people will go in order to make their lives "normal", whether it's the protagonist (played in an agonizingly human manner by James Steinberg) obsessing over his deceased wife and trying to rub out his problems with alcohol, or the bully at the local bar (Brian Buckley Smith at his scowling, crinkle-browed best) intent on ridding his haunt of "freaks" like Joe who's been spotted around town talking to himself and acting genuinely weird; what we learn is that "normal" is not only relative, it can sometimes be turned around on us in unexpected ways or altogether shattered in one horrifying moment. In addition to a clever script and a brilliant score, one of the film's strengths is young Hannah Frantz who plays the title character's teenage daughter, Lizzie. Like many kids of single parent families in crisis, Lizzie must step up and show wisdom beyond her years, often caring for, even parenting her grief-stricken father as much as he does her. The range of emotion put forth by this up-and-comer helps bring a level of sophistication to the film that puts it a cut above other low-budget fare and bodes well for her future career. Also putting in a fine turn of acting is a supporting cast of both newcomers and veterans of independent cinema, including Timothy Carr and Rhoads Osborne. 'Crazy Joe' is at once a heartwarming drama and a dark reminder of the forces at work behind the karma we create, for good or ill. At its best, the movie hearkens back to the irony and grimness of shows like "Tales from the Darkside", but because of the excellent pacing, believable performances, and the undercurrent of serious issues, it becomes something more, something entertaining and thought-provoking that will leave an impression on its audience long after the second viewing- and trust me, you will want to watch it more than once. - S. Michael Simms, IAJS Entertainment Division


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