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Praise  [DVD]
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A story of love, never ending sex and Scrabble, `Praise' is a bizarre enough tale if ever there was one.
Based on the semi-autobiographical story from Andrew McGahan, the film follows the irregular relationship between chain-smoking asthmatic Gordon (Peter Fenton) and insecure eczema victim Cynthia, as they both help one another through the grim situations that they've each wandered into.
Through emotional storytelling, this pathetic duo is seen in a whole new light, connecting with one another amidst the drugs, drink and triple word scores. This is a unique and engrossing drama that deserves every bit of `Praise' it can gather.
From the Contributor
Laurel leaves x 6 AFI Awards: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Best Screenplay Adapted From Another Source FCCA Awards Best Actor - Female Best Director Best Screenplay - Adapted Toronto Film Fetsival International Critics' Award John Curran
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Great acting. Great realization. Realistic dialogue.
Word of warning: this film is not for anyone who isn't comfortable with people talking graphically about sex. This film takes dirty talk to another level and it can only be respected if you can take it. If you subtract all the sex, it's a very touching love story. I admit after the fifth sex scene I wanted the characters to surpass that but they never did. If you see the movie you'll understand how two lonely people use sex to control one another. A riveting film. Not for the kiddies.
The two main actors are very convincing in their roles, and there is a small part played by the ever-convincing Marta Dusseldorp. Not an uplifting experience, but worth watching because it received great acclaim at the time it was released.
In spite of the suggestion that Horler is a monstrous child/woman, the actor invests her with a vulnerability that is very appealing. And Fenton's tenderness is also pleasing.
The film suffers without Horler, and Curran doesn't know how to end, which may be the fault of the source novel by Andrew McGahan. Depicting residents of a boarding house as men without dreams or levity is perhaps too easy, but at least we get to see a physical transformation. Curran repeats one set-up from a longer shot, which predetermines the ending, and provides an amusing if inexplicable parallel between the boarding house and a hospital ward after hours.