What a delightfully bizarre film this is. Praise is definitely worthy of it’s title and I have given it 4 stars. This is an Australian production, directed by John Curran (Stone, The Painted Veil) this was his directorial début, and is very intelligently put together.
The subject material upon which this film is based seems at first glance unlikely to be entertaining to watch, being as it is about the strange relationship between the two main characters, Gordon (Peter Fenton) a chain smoking asthmatic, and Cynthia (Sacha Horler) a chronic eczema sufferer. However, the excellent acting, well written script and inspired direction turn this into something very watchable.
You are led through various emotions with the characters while watching this, their relationship is based entirely upon sex, drugs and scrabble, a rather heady combination, and you find yourself with them every step of the way as they learn to come to terms with their lives and where they have ended up. This is largely, I think, thanks to the fantastic performances by the lead actors in roles which must have been quite challenging to play.
Praise is based upon a semi-autobiographical story written by Andrew McGahan and although I have not read it, I’m sure this film has done it justice. They have been in receipt of several awards, and rightly so, a lot of thought has gone into the making of Praise.
The only drawback that I can really see to this release is the total lack of special features available on the disc, but frankly, when the film is this good I suppose you don’t really need them.
All in all, this is a quality film, not one for all the family (it’s an 18 certificate), but definitely worth a look, it comes highly recommended.