It’s a sure sign that things are not going your way when people keep telling you they were convinced you were dead. That happens at least a half-dozen times to the titular character in Joe Maggio’s film The Last Rites of Joe May
, which focuses on a man whose life is quickly going to hell in a handbasket. It’s a story that could easily have been depressing or maudlin, but director Maggio and leading man Dennis Farina give the film plenty of heart and an undertow of humor, crafting a minor but appealing tale of life on the mean streets of Chicago.
In The Last Rites of Joe May, Joe (Farina) is a small-time hood who has made a career out of fencing...