Sir Michael Gambon joins Spooks star Rupert Penry-Jones, Kelly Reilly, Rebecca Hall and newcomer Danny Lee Wynter in Joe’s Palace, a new BBC One film from acclaimed writer-director Stephen Poliakoff.
The film explores the relationship between the two central characters: Elliot Graham (Gambon), a reclusive billionaire, and Joe (Wynter) , the teenage son of a cleaner who takes care of Elliot’s grand, empty mansion.
Elliot lives close by but is unable to stay in the palatial house he has inherited; it has too many echoes of the past. Once a venue for sumptuous parties and soir�es, the house has become a stultifying legacy that haunts Elliot, riddled with mysteries and unanswered questions.
Part messenger, part prot�g�, Joe is a link between Elliot and the outside world as their story and the stories of the visitors to the empty building ricochet and reverberate.
Richard, a high-flying cabinet minister played by Penry-Jones, conducts an illicit affair with Charlotte (Reilly) at Elliot’s empty mansion. For the lovers the building provides a luxurious refuge, but as time passes and their love affair unravels, it feels more like a prison.
Joe, Elliot and Tina (Hall), a young woman they befriend from the local delicatessen, join forces and discover the dark secret at the heart of Elliot’s past.
In a contemporary film about memories and mysteries of a past life, the sins of the father are finally revealed in a cathartic climax. Joe’s Palace ends as Elliot finally feels able to move on with his life with optimism and hope.