Little Joe

Plant breeder Alice (Emily Beecham) is engaged in developing a new species of an aromatic crimson flower with therapeutic properties of an anti-depressant, carrying the threat of an abrupt change in those who inhale its sterile pollen both socially and psychologically. Along with its mood-lifting promise of sheer happiness, those affected are protective of this plant, named “Little Joe,” claiming it is just a plant trying to survive, but suspicions arise when a colleague, Bess, has her dog put down because “it’s no longer my dog!” Shades of Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers abutted by The Kirlian Witness. More than anything, this science fiction film by director Jessica Hausner makes the case that in an overly drugged culture, reason becomes secondary to tranquility in the pursuit of self-absorbed happiness.