The Last Rites of
Joe May
Review by Ross Anthony

Dennis Farina gives a warm (in a tough-loser kind of way) performance. Joe Maggio directs with taste and artistic touch. I just love how the film opens softly and quietly, introducing us to Joe May on the day he's released from the hospital. The poor stiff in the bed next to him sleeps while the audio plays a tapping sound. The window-tapping is a nice touch, because we're made immediately curious by it. It turns out to be the very first thing we learn of Joe, that he likes pigeons.

This is not a loud film, not a flashy film, not a funny film. It's a quiet indie paced just right. Through the entire first act and into the second, I worried that the film might become a real downer (thematically speaking). But, that's when I saw where it all was going. Rest assured, the writing, acting, and direction bring the film to appropriately restrained, but fulfilling resolution.

Upon reflection, "Joe May" communicates the emotional story I wanted from the film "Looper," but sans all the complicated plotting and unnecessary violence.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • The Last Rites of Joe May. Copyright © 2010.
  • Starring Dennis Farina, Jamie Anne Allman, Ian Barford, Meredith Droeger, Chelcie Ross, Gary Cole. Written and directed by Joe Maggio. Produced by Stephanie Striegel and Bill Straus. Tribeca Film, Steppenwolf Films.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Monday, 18-Feb-2013 11:13:31 PST