Details: (R18+), 98 mins, Australia, English
Synopsis: Gordon (Peter Fenton) is a chain-smoking asthmatic with a lazy libido and a heart that’s been broken by ten years of unrequited love. Cynthia (Sacha Horler) has her own problems, including bad skin and a history with too many men to count. But she sees something in the kind-hearted Gordon and for an explosive moment of warmth, sex and madness, laughter, sex and terror, sex scrabble and sex, it seems they night even save each other. But old habits die hard.
Sex and drugs in BrisVegas!
It`s summer in Brisbane, and Gordon, Peter Fenton, is bored with his job in a bottle shop. A bit of a loner, who still has a crush on a girl he knew in school, Gordon lives in a filthy old apartment building mostly occupied by older men; he also smokes a lot, though he`s asthmatic. One day out of the blue he gets a call from Cynthia, Sacha Horler. She invites him to her place for a party - a party for one, as it turns out - and that`s the start of an intense relationship...Praise, an amazing first feature from American-born Australian-based John Curran, is written by Andrew McGahan, who adapted his own novel. An achingly honest story of an incompatible couple who nevertheless form a fiercely sexual bond over a short period of time, the film is intelligent, painful, witty and amazingly well acted. Sacha Horler gives an incredibly brave performance as this troubled young woman, who`s obsessed with sex but painfully aware that her bad skin and demanding nature are powerful turn-offs. Equally good is Peter Fenton, the lead singer of Crow, whose hopelessly ineffectual Gordon is intelligently and subtly portrayed. This is the kind of gritty, painfully honest, beautifully photographed and directed Australian film which makes us proud of our industry. Margaret`s Comments: Praise is quite an achievement for all concerned - Andrew McGahan for the screenplay adaptation of his book, director John Curran, cinematographer Dion Beebe and the two central performers Peter Fenton and Sacha Horler. It`s a brave film which works against stereotypes, against a lot of things we`ve come to expect on the screen. The characters are confronting in that they`re neither likeable nor dislikeable, the central issues are elusive. Is this just a slice of deadbeat life, or the story of a man too debilitated to love, or the story of a monstrous relationship that is destined to implode? Economically told, hilariously funny at times, poignantly painful at others this little gem of a film will connect with audiences on a level rarely achieved in the cinema.
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