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Joshua

Eschewing supernatural hysteria
By BRETT MICHEL  |  July 11, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for Joshua.

Why didn’t Patricia Highsmith begin chronicling the dubious deeds of Tom Ripley at a younger age –– say, nine? Perhaps it’s because she knew how improbably the portrait of an artist as a young sociopath would read, talented though he may be, when he’s been capable of wiping his own ass for barely five years. But then, Joshua Cairn (icy newcomer Jacob Kogan), the Bad Seed at the center of George Ratliff’s Manhattan-set thriller (Rosemary must be a neighbor), is so precocious that he likely bypassed diapers faster than he’s skipping grades. Ratliff’s new spin on an old yarn wisely eschews supernatural hysteria, favoring the very real fears of unexceptional parents (finely unhinged work from Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga) pushed past the bounds of sanity by an exceptional prodigy who maybe also pushed his Christian-nut-job Grandma down a set of stairs, something sure to please fans of Ratliff’s documentary Hell House.
Related: Fateful Departed, Dots and dashes, Review: Frost/Nixon, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Sam Rockwell, Patricia Highsmith, Tom Ripley,  More more >
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