Reviewed by: Trinity

Praise is, for want of a better description, Betty Blue with normal people. Gordon is a 25-year-old chain smoking asthmatic. Cynthia suffers from eczema, a past drug problem and a history with too many men to count. In a way it's just your typical boy meets girl, boy shags girl, boy loses girl kind of story.

At first Gordon and Cynthia descend into a storm of warmth and madness, laughter and terror, Scrabble and sex. Gordon gives in to the whirlwind, lost in a woman who's lost in herself. But some old flames are hard to extinguish and when Gordon's first and only love, Rachel, reappears he is torn between the two with Cynthia wanting his body and Rachel taking over his mind. Something has to give in - the question is can he survive and save some of himself.

Praise should be a good film. After all, here we have one character who openly admits to his sexual failings, and another who doesn't let bad skin get in the way of good sex. But despite all the right elements, something doesn't quite gel. After a while, like Gordon, you simply get tired - of seeing the same people in the same kind of situations agonising over others' important decisions. Praise is raw, honest but ultimately unfulfilling.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Boy meets girl, boy shags girl, boy loses girl.
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Director: John Curran

Writer: Andrew McGahan, adapted from his own novel

Starring: Peter Fenton, Sacha Horler, Marta Dusseldorp, Joel Edgerton, Yvette Duncan, Ray Bull

Year: 1998

Runtime: 98 minutes

Country: Australia


EIFF 1999

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