Naked and spectacular

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Lonesome (2022) Craig Boreham, Australia -95m-

A young rural Australian man escapes a small-town scandal to Sydney, meeting another guy through Grindr.

The plot feels less important than the intimacy between the lead actor and the filmmaker. The filmmaking is stark and direct, dealing with the moment-to-moment reality of the protagonist's marginal life. The impressive performance of lead Josh Lavery is unusual and takes time to reach its full impact. At first I thought his character was too underplayed, but slowly throughout the film I felt the impact of his hopelessness and the tangible reality of his survival-mode. Similarly, there is a lot of nudity and no aspect of his experience is excluded for good taste, the cumulative effect of which is deep empathy and familiarity, like the intimacy of getting to know a new lover. Subsequently, the extent of my identification with the protagonist by the end of the film was quite shocking.

His relationship with the Grindr hook-up that doesn't end is also depicted in a matter-of-fact way that somehow creates a cumulative impact, where the casualness of their commitment to each other obscures the evident fact that they have something very real and significant to offer each other. I hope this film gets a chance to reach the world and that Josh Lavery gets opportunities to surprise us further as a performer.

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