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Praise

Released Jun 30, 1998 1h 37m Drama List
88% Tomatometer 8 Reviews 73% Audience Score 100+ Ratings
"Praise" is a powerful, tragicomic love story of obsession, addiction, and codependency. Gordon is a listless, chain-smoking asthmatic with a rather insipid libido. Cynthia is a slightly pudgy nymphomaniac with a bad case of eczema. After quitting his job at a Brisbane liquor store, Gordon makes a decision that will mark his life forever: becoming involved in Cynthia's manic parlor games of chemical and sexual excess. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (8) Critics Reviews
Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly Rated: B+ Sep 7, 2011 Full Review Entertainment Weekly Rated: B+ Jun 30, 2000 Full Review Elvis Mitchell New York Times Rated: 4.5/5 Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Christopher Null Filmcritic.com Rated: 3/5 Jul 24, 2001 Full Review Bryant Frazer Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus Rated: B+ Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Tom Block culturevulture.net Rated: 9/10 Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (3) audience reviews
Audience Member The basic story of Praise, from first-time director John Curran, is fairly simple: a laid-back, chain-smoking asthmatic named Gordon (Peter Fenton) becomes involved with Cynthia (Sacha Horler), a nymphomaniac afflicted with severe eczema. From the start, their co-dependent relationship is not healthy, but, as the gulf between their sexual needs widens, they begin to grate on one another. It is clear from the beginning that the better developed and more interesting of the two protagonists is Cynthia. So, when the concluding scenes focus not on her, but on the considerably less engaging Gordon, the resulting anticlimax causes the otherwise-searing movie to end on a discordant note. Despite the off-key finale, Praise is still a powerful and occasionally disturbing experience. Most movies, especially mainstream ones, like to tap-dance around sexual themes for fear of offending a puritanical audience. Praise attacks these issues head-on by illustrating the kinds of sexual trade-offs that have to be endured for a relationship to work. In this case, it's the woman who has the sexually voracious appetite and the man who is passive, but the patterns would be similar if the circumstances were reversed. Praise is as honest emotionally at it is when dealing with sexual issues - it doesn't lather on the melodrama to make its point. It is compelling precisely because it stays focused on the characters and their dysfunctional, psychologically complex relationship. (An unknown gem of a film). Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Audience Member Sacha Horler and Peter Fenton are both amazing in this insightful Australian film about vulnerability. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Audience Member [size=4][b][img]http://images.greencine.com/images/movies/188105.jpg[/img] Love My Face, Love My Race: [/b][size=2]Sarah Polly is the interesting lead in this Canadian TV movie about an alienated high school girl who finds acceptance through some rather stylized internet chat rooms featuring some members of the NIM movement, which I will redub Nazi's In Making for fun. Ridiculed by a speaker in front a school assembly for perhaps having racial prejudice when she mourns not getting a job flipping burgers due to inability to speak Mandarin (or was it Cantonese? shit..I must be a racist for forgetting! heh), her reaction is to write a paper on her frustrations that is given a F in class. Posting it on the internet as "Hot Head", the NIM people think they have found their voice and she is lured in by a $50 contest they put up. Off to a party with some "normal" looking people, and I give the film credit for not immediately ramming us into a scene filled with raving and violent radicals, and she is loving the feeling of fitting in. The tale then follows her rise in the ranks, and then gets into more predictable territory with Nazi skinhead punk band rallys and cross burning campouts. Of course, Polly begins to find doubts and experience the ugly side of it, and the ending won't surprise anybody. The down side here is that the poor old internet takes another beating as a dangerous moral cesspool, and some very stereotyped characters start to emerge. No doubt these types exist to be modelled on, but as entertainment it is wearying. Sarah Polly, on the other hand, is so damn cute I stayed until the end. Every look she presents in the film is hot in a quite "natural" fashion. (Even Canadian TV movies employ skilled makeup artists, I know.) [img]http://www.northernstars.ca/media2/polley09.jpg[/img] Looking at her [url="http://www.tribute.ca/bio.asp?id=2501"]filmography[/url], I see she has worked with Atom Egoyan and David Cronenburg. She was in Dawn of the Dead in 2004, so now I might watch it. I have seen The Hanging Garden, and didn't notice her. How could that be? [img]http://www.snowboll.org/babes/sarahpolly.jpg[/img] I dig this chick. Now, I will allow my natural iconoclasm to work on breaking her down, so I can hate her. Once I hate a female celebrity, in information you all just MUST have, then they solidly enter into masturbation fantasy territory. Yes, I am a vile and lowly piece of human filth. Religion taught me that. What else would you expect a member of the uneducated lower classes to be? I think I should add (First World) in brackets behind my new catch phrase, as I should keep it in proper perspective. Go, Sarah Polly, Go, you cold, inaccessable, talented bitch. I never knew thee. Anyway, since I do not yet have any shots of her backside, on to the next movie... [img]http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/visual_culture/images/praise.jpg[/img] [b][size=4]Diffusive Effusive: [/size][/b][size=4][size=2]Austrailian film about a young slacker who lives in a shithole apartment, despairing of motivation until the day that his old acquaintance rings him up. She is a nymphomaniac with eczema, so of course they fall in love. Or do they? Shit happens, then they die. Or I was hoping they would. Really, there isn't too much going on here. A character study? I guess. Fuck, I already am a slacker, so I don't need to watch romantic dramas about them. [img]http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B00005UBPM.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg[/img] [size=4][b]What's All the Rage?: [/b][size=2]Finally I see this movie, and all throughout the telecast there were interviews telling me how great it was, and how dedicated Deniro was, how Jake LaMotta was flattered by it, and basically a person would have to be a fool not to see how bloody brilliant it was. More the fool am I. Now, I am not here to argue against the artistic merit. I am not here to disavow any claim that it does the emotional turmoil of an athlete (which I wouldn't know about) justice. I have no complaints of Scorsese's direction. Whatever I was expecting, though, this was not it. I haven't a doubt it skillfully tells the story, but I just wasn't too interested in it. One person interviewed called it a "hard film to watch", and perhaps that is what bothers me. If so, let this 6 be an incongruity of my ratings character. The fact that I cannot seem to develop what it is I do not like should be partial testimony. [/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size] Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Praise

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis "Praise" is a powerful, tragicomic love story of obsession, addiction, and codependency. Gordon is a listless, chain-smoking asthmatic with a rather insipid libido. Cynthia is a slightly pudgy nymphomaniac with a bad case of eczema. After quitting his job at a Brisbane liquor store, Gordon makes a decision that will mark his life forever: becoming involved in Cynthia's manic parlor games of chemical and sexual excess.
Director
John Curran
Producer
Martha Coleman
Screenwriter
Andrew McGahan, Andrew McGahan
Distributor
Strand Releasing
Production Co
Emcee Films
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jun 30, 1998, Wide
Release Date (DVD)
Jul 8, 2003
Box Office (Gross USA)
$30.4K
Runtime
1h 37m
Sound Mix
Surround, Dolby SR, Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio
Flat (1.85:1)