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User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2

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  1. ChadS.
    Jul 20, 2004
    7
    "You can see your breath hanging in the air. You see homeless people but you just don't care," goes the politically incorrect song from "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut". Stan sings the truth. But in the movies, we care, since there's no muss or fuss when you're vicarious; besides, the hobo is jerry-rigged by the filmmaker to warm the cockles of our hearts. In "Joe "You can see your breath hanging in the air. You see homeless people but you just don't care," goes the politically incorrect song from "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut". Stan sings the truth. But in the movies, we care, since there's no muss or fuss when you're vicarious; besides, the hobo is jerry-rigged by the filmmaker to warm the cockles of our hearts. In "Joe Gould's Secret", Ian Holm, as Gould, creates a realistic hobo, a grating hobo, and our synthetic compassion gets used up. When Holm goes ballistic, we're begging for Tucci the director to cut away from this raving lunatic. Tucci the actor, as Joe Mitchell, remains sympathetic when he shirks Gould, because in real life, we wouldn't want our reclamation project to be clingy either. To offset Gould's tirades, we follow Holm looking for a place to sleep. Tucci wants us to remember this vagrant's humiliation when Gould is on his worst behavior. At the movies, we're all humanitarians, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone, knows that most of us "[won't] think twice," and that includes Phil Collins, too. "Joe Gould's Secret" recalls a less cynical time, when someone like Gould could trick people into believing that you can be a genius, and look like you need a bath. Expand
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. An elegant, quietly comical but slightly constricted period piece whose stately pace is all but offset by several impressive performances.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    80
    A fitting tribute to an era, a writer, and an unapologetic eccentric.
  3. 50
    Carefully made, respectful and dull.