In the midst of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, "Little Joe" seems to be the perfect companion in the nascent world of paranoia, isolation, loneliness and robotic behavior.

The latest film by renowned Austrian director Jessica Hausner tells the story of 'little Joe', a genetically modified flower (with the use of illicit viral vectors) that was created to stimulate a better mood in people and thus become a plant that every household will want. But it soon turns out that the flower possesses invasive methods of survival and with its pollen changes human consciousness and manages its owners all to ensure its survival. 

In the focus of this moralistic SF horror drama, there is scientist Alice, interpreted by the cold and disturbingly restrained Emily Beecham, a scientist who, along with her colleague Chris, is credited with creating the flower. She is the divorced mother of the boy Joe (after whom the flower is named) who is absolutely dedicated to her work and who longs for recognition both in scientific circles and in the corporation in which she recently started working and when the first problems with her flower appear, she he refuses to believe his colleague Belle's insane theory that the flower changes the personality of those who come into close contact with its pollen. Violating a strict corporate rule, Alice brings one flower home as a gift to her son, but soon notices a change in her son’s behavior that justifies it at puberty. Does Alice lose her mind a bit in this relentless corporate race to sell flowers as quickly as possible and feel guilty for neglecting her son, or has she really created a monster that will change the human world with the help of a virus? 

Jessica Hausner is slowly dragging us into the sterile world of a capitalist society in which people are already acting somewhat robotic anyway, devoid of empathy and eager for instant success without choosing the means along the way.

Rhythmically, "Little Joe" is a rather slow film that captivates with its atmosphere, scenographic application of bright colors, disturbing music dominated by Japanese drums and minimalist acting that further enhances the feeling of bizarreness and discomfort. Drawing comparisons with genre- and thematically similar films, "Little Joe" is certainly on the trail of classics like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" or "Little Shop of Horrors", and yet so close to relevant pandemic events that are increasingly loud questions like most common -Is COVID-19 a laboratory-created monster that has found its way to survival? -.

It is worth noting that Emily Beecham was awarded Best Actress at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival for her strictly controlled acting, and no weaker acting releases were provided by Ben Whishaw as Alice's colleague Chris who longs for her affection, Kerry Fox as an experienced but and the mentally unbalanced botanist Bella and the young Kit Connor as the boy Joe. If you are a fan of small bizarre movies with big themes, "Little Joe" is definitely one of them.