"Joe Bell", currently showing in theatres, tackles a few subjects seldom touched upon by film from a father with a gay son, the bullying of gay teenagers in school, how families and strangers react to gay people, among the subjects.
Joe Bell, played with heart by Mark Wahlberg, is the true story of a small town, working class father who embarks on a solo walk across the U.S. from La Grande, Oregon to New York city to crusade against bullying after his son is tormented in high school for being gay. Reid Miller, as the gay son, gives a 'right on' performance.
Joe has a temper which doesn't help making the lives of his wife and 2 sons very easy, even having his gay son question what his father is doing and if his father really accepts him.
I really don't want to get too much into the film as I wasn't aware of Joe Bell until I saw it and I would like those who don't know him to discover the man I discovered watching the film. I'm a sucker with father and son stories and, unashamedly, I admit to crying during the latter half.
Some (famous) critic said this film 'feels like a huge step backwards' and yet the problems are as prevalent today as they were 40 years ago which makes it even more shocking to see a film that shows what is happening today.
The only negative criticism I have is that should have been filmed in a linear fashion to be more powerful and moving.
Please stay to see the ending credits.
To educate yourself and understand what happened with Jadin Bell please become familiar with https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/preventing-suicide/facts-about-suicide/
I, also, highly recommend the book "Gay Like Me: A Father Writes To His Son" by Richie Jackson (which I wish I had written!)