We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
You meet guys like Joe May. They can get you a price on some merchandise that fell off the back of some truck. in the performance of his career, Dennis Farina depicts the type flawlessly in "The Last Rites of Joe May." He looks into the type and sees the man inside: proud, weary, fearful.
This movie takes place on the West Side of Chicago, without a single "beauty shot." Not a skyscraper in sight. Only gray, cold streets, shabby bars and forlorn bus stops. Joe May has just been released from Cook County Hospital after a siege of pneumonia that nearly killed him. Before he goes home, he goes to a bar. "Jeez, I thought you was dead," the bartender says. Nothing about how he's glad to see Joe is alive.
When he gets to his apartment, Joe moves cautiously. Farina is a former Chicago cop and knows how to enter an apartment you're not sure about. It's been entered, yes — by Jenny Rapp (Jamie Anne Allman) and her daughter, Angelina (Meredith Droeger). They live there now. Joe lived there for years, but the landlord thought he was dead and rented it out.
Now begins the final act of Joe's life. He hunches his shoulders inside his coat, which is too thin against the chill. He goes to visit his old pal Billy (Chelcie Ross) in a retirement home, tapping on the ground-floor window to announce his arrival. He goes to visit a man named Lenny (Gary Cole), whose office is a back table in a bar and who knows about stuff that falls off trucks.