Little Joe

Director: Jessica Hausner
Year Released: 2019
Rating: 1.0

Scientist Alice (Emily Beecham) and her team (including Ben Whishaw) design a new plant called Little Joe (not after Mr. Dallesandro, who never once gave it away) that will "make people happy" when sniffing it but removed from it the vital part where it can reproduce itself, so the modified plants emit pollen that goes into peoples' brains and makes them super protective of it (and also a tad zombified).  Hausner's a little too impressed with her tracking shots, cute uniforms (out of a Wes Anderson project) and irritating use of (a.) ringing sounds and (b.) traditional Japanese music on the soundtrack to realize her movie is stiff and frankly uninteresting, taking a horror film premise (mass infection!) and removing it of its urgency and terror: it's a slow crawl to compliance with the botanical overlords.  Beecham won Best Actress at Cannes presumably because they were just itching to give the award to a female with an auburn Little Dutch Boy haircut who gets assaulted by her child and a co-worker.