Joe's Palace explores the relationship between the two central characters, Elliot Graham (Michael Gambon), a reclusive billionaire, and Joe (Danny Lee Wynter), the teenage son of a cleaner who takes care of Elliot's grand empty mansion.
Elliot lives close by but is unable to live in the palatial house he has inherited. It has too many echoes of the past. Once a venue for sumptuous parties and soirees, the house has become a stultifying legacy that haunts Elliot, riddled with mysteries and unanswered questions.
Part messenger, part protégé, 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 (Rupert Penry-Jones), a high flying cabinet minister, conducts an illicit affair with Charlotte (Kelly Reilly) at Elliot's empty mansion. For the lovers the building provides an luxurious refuge, but as time passes and their love affair unravels, it feels more like a prison.
Joe, Elliot and Tina (Rebecca 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.