My Friend Joe | Chicago Reader

My Friend Joe

Solidly crafted coming-of-age story (1996) about a girl (Schuyler Fisk) who masquerades as a boy to perform as a tightrope walker, and the friendship that develops between her and a fellow teen in an Irish seaside village where the circus has pitched its tents. Schuyler Fisk (daughter of actress Sissy Spacek) gives a beautifully understated performance as the androgynous hero, projecting toughness and vulnerability, boyish bravado and girlish sensitivity. David Howard?s meticulously plotted script unfolds with deceptive ease, and British TV director Chris Bould coaxes utterly believable responses from his young actors, who deliver the snappy dialogue as if improvising; these are no suburban clones from the Spielberg factory. With Joel Grey as the girl?s confidante, a circus old-timer who harbors his own dark secret.

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