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4.2 out of 5 stars13
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 3 October 2000
This is a surprising little film, starring a very youthful Russell Crowe. It focuses on the traditional story of the threesome, examining the three-way relationship between a blind photographer, his obsessed housekeeper and the newcomer, played by Crowe. Whilst the hook is the oddity of a blind man taking photos of the world he can't see, it is really a study of relationships and the lies people tell within them. There are some extremely funny scenes yet the story is gripping and disturbing. The acting is restrained, the dialogue convincing and, even if it all works out a little too neatly at the end, the storyline intriguing.
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Proof won six Australian Film Awards and it's not hard to believe after seeing it, in spite of its small scale. It in effect has only three characters, plus a vet whose role is significant, but is over in a flash. Jocelyn Moorhouse wrote and directed the taut script with a brilliant trio of actors, before going to Hollywood, presumably, where she co-wrote Unconditional Love which must be one of the most underrated comedies ever, not getting a cinema release in the US or the UK. This film is also comic, if more uncomfortably so. Hugo Weaving plays a blind man who finds it impossible to trust others, something dating back to his childhood, and therefore has perpetuated a quite unhealthy relationship with a young housekeeper (Genevieve Picot) even though it's quite destructive for both of them. He takes photographs and then asks others to tell him what's in them, before labelling them in braille. Then a young restaurant chef appears on the scene (Russell Crowe) who changes the whole dynamic, as he seems to be that longed-for figure, symbolised by his describing the photos. The triangle of desire is superbly delineated with many tart lines, yet it also feels as though it's striving towards the truth a bit like Sex, Lies, and Videotape. It really is a compelling experience, with Weaving playing a very repressed character who nevertheless comes across with great force. The balance between his suffering and the intriguing aspect of the plot is well maintained. Picot does well to find the vulnerability in a role that could easily veer off into sheer unpleasantness, where Crowe is sexy and boy-next-door-ish yet has great screen charisma. The Melbourne setting is not something I've seen in many films and the houses with their stained glass features and older style furnishings somehow blend with the tone of the film very well - not forgetting Bill the guide-dog, who shows how lovable these animals are the world over! He also is brought centre-stage in an all-important photograph ...
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on 9 December 2011
Australian writer and director Jocelyn Moorhouse`s directorial debut which was honored with six Australian Film Institute Awards in 1991 and the Golden Camera at the 44th Cannes Film Festival in 1991, tells the story about 32-year-old Martin who lives a very quiet life in a suburb with his dog Bill. Martin has been blind since the day he was born, something that has given him severe trust issues and motivated him to take photographs which he uses to reassure himself and to have proof that the things he senses are the same as what other people see. One day he encounters Andy, a young kitchen hand who takes an interest in him. Andy`s genuine kindness appeals to Martin and for the first time in his life, Martin asks another person to describe his photos for him. Martin and Andy`s friendship is beginning to evolve, but when Martin`s long time housekeeper Celia who is in love with him learns that she is no longer Martin`s sole confidant, she becomes jealous.

This mysteriously atmospheric study of character, an outstanding feature film debut which was compassionately written and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and shot in Melbourne, has an efficient score by former Australian band Not Drowning, Waving and is a dialog-driven love triangle with great emotional depth which gives an insightful depiction of blindness. Captivating acting performances by Australian actors Hugo Weaving, Russell Crowe and Australian actress Genevieve Picot and commendable and essential use of visuals by amongst others cinematographer Martin McGrath and Jocelyn Moorhouse underlines this Australian independent film which is an engaging, perceptive and humorous psychological drama about trust, friendship and love.
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VINE VOICEon 25 April 2015
Proof is about the need for trust between people which is based on truth, but there is likelihood of lies and half-truths. Martin(Hugo Weaving) has been blind since birth and he feels his mum told him lies because he was born blind.She bought him a camera(which he asked for) so he could take pictures of the world around him. He even doesn't believe his mother when she said she is going to die,even when the coffin is in his home, he believes it's hollow. He gets friends to describe the photos to him so that he can have proof that what he sensed is what they saw. He trusts no one except the camera that has replaced his eyes. By taking photos, Martin has proof that the world he senses is the same one other people see. Martin has never known anyone he trusts enough to describe his photos to him. Martin is a bitter,distrustful man who lacks the faith to believe what he has been told. The camera may never lie, but to Martin people do lie, preferring to tell him what he wants to hear,or even, cruelly
misleading him.

One day Martin strikes up a friendship with the younger Andy(Russell Crowe),who becomes his regular `talking eyes',who has a down-to-earth honesty and kindness that touches him. Martin knows a 2nd person, Celia (Genevieve Picot),his housekeeper, whom he treats with contempt,yet she loves him. When she reveals this love,he responds with vicious malice.Inevitably,she and Andy are drawn together,with results that shatter the already fragile nature of the characters' relationships.Moorhouse's edgy film is more about metaphorical, wilful blindness than physical sight impairment. Martin is unable to trust unless provided with tangible proof.And yet he then refuses to accept the evidence. Not only can he not see what is in front of his face, he deliberately won't `see' the truth in others. He lives to be betrayed, he encourages and feeds on deception. all 3 actors bring immense presence to their roles and the writing is well organised,the dialogue effective. A good 1st film from Jocelyn Moorhouse. Crowe shows his future promise in an understated performance. Weaving has force.
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on 18 October 2014
Great to see 2 Oz actors - who've both become mega-stars - at the very start of their careers. They're both very impressive. And the storyline is astonishing. Who knew a film about a blind photographer could be even thought of - let alone this good.
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on 2 March 2013
Great movie, I first watched this movie in 1995 for an English comprehension piece. has always stuck in my mind, only took 16 years to watch it again. very enjoyable, will not disappoint . An Aussie materpiece
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on 4 March 2016
A refreshing story.
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on 5 August 2010
Both Crowe and Weaving are excellent in this understated psychological pressure cooker. Superb acting in this early work. The tension builds splendidly in this humble low budget film.
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on 6 March 2013
Really unusual story, that's quite thought provoking. There's one particular scene where we just couldn't stop laughing - and kept remembering and laughing days later!
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on 23 February 2015
One of Russ' earliest films. A proper classic!
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