THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO | EW.com

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The Ballad of Little Jo THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO (R) An enchanting, plainspoken sleeper based on a true incident, Ballad stars Suzy Amis as a 19th-century heroine with a...The Ballad of Little JoWestern, DramaR THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO (R) An enchanting, plainspoken sleeper based on a true incident, Ballad stars Suzy Amis as a 19th-century heroine with a...1993-09-17Heather Graham
B+

The Ballad of Little Jo

Genre: Western, Drama; Starring: Suzy Amis, David Chung, Heather Graham; MPAA Rating: R

THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO (R) An enchanting, plainspoken sleeper based on a true incident, Ballad stars Suzy Amis as a 19th-century heroine with a difference. Kicked out of her stuffy Eastern family, headstrong Josephine Monaghan heads west to the Rockies, where she quickly learns that her gender is a dangerous liability. So she dresses as a man. For the rest of her life. Writer-director Maggie Greenwald tells her story in a weather-beaten style that feels like a frontier folk song, although there’s an undercurrent of New Age gloop when Little Jo falls in love with a hunky Chinese railway worker (David Chung). Still, the film’s tartness is becoming, the cinematography is ravishing, and Amis (looking like Eric Stoltz with a hangover) is a marvel as the terse, gray-faced loner with a rainbow locked up inside. B+ -TB