Holding the ManHD
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About the Film
In 1976 Tim and John began a forbidden high school romance that was to last a lifetime. Their remarkable true story was immortalised by Timothy Conigrave's bestselling cult-classic memoir and the inspiration for the award winning stage play by Tommy Murphy. A captivating story that speaks across generations and ultimately celebrates the power of love. With an iconic cast, Holding the Man stars Ryan Corr and Craig Stott as two lovers with Sarah Snook, Geoffrey Rush, Kerry Fox, Guy Pearce and Anthony LaPaglia.
So True To The Book
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I read the book many years ago, as I watched those years and I was there. Not with these two men in, as Life and Love presented such depth that was described in the book, but I am eight years younger. I saw this happen to those friends that II still love, although they are no longer with us.
It is refreshing to see that we can now see films like this exemplary tribute to two men that held so much love for each other. These were difficult days for so many gay men, who were hit blindly by a retrovirus, with their emotions of absolute shock, because in those early years no one knew how this was happening, especially to a couple in this deeply, authentically portrayed view by the actors.
There were a few moments that I have to pause the film because of the circumstances that was so heartbreaking. I felt like they took my eyes and filmed many of my memories, and now, with medications permitting longer lives only makes it very real. I'm HIV-, and there are still friends that part far too soon, and the grief never truly ends. I have been witness to many friends that were like Tim and John in my life.
Yes, there are difficult and painful moments and revelations that capture this couple with such depth of the emotions during that period. For many years I refused to watch another sappy film or play that felt forced. This one, however, is an exception. No sappy, forced moments. Just the Love that I witnessed with so many friends in my Life. They would be 58 this year, and I have no doubt that they would still be together, as was the case for so many. I cannot recommend this film more than I am by this review. This has so many emotions which focused on living during the Eighties. Yes, it was one of the darkest times in so many ways, but there was also determination, laughter, hope, love, humanity, and respect which Tommy Murphy deserves immense praise for his play. Ryan Corr and Craid Stott deserve exceptional recognition for their amazing chemistry that defines so much, good and bad, happy and devastatingly sad. The entire Cast deserve mention for drawing me to this film.
Watch this. It is not all about doom and gloom, yet neither were the times that it honestly re-enacts. An amazing film.
What a film. Very moving. Reminds us what we have come through and not to forget the importance of life and love and that special someone.
There is so much to admire in this film, based on a beloved memoir. It's heartfelt, well observed and the performances are good. So why only three stars? Because I've seen it all before. Guys meet (they are terribly unconvincing as teenagers, by the way), fall in love, defy convention, then succumb to HIV. I know it actually happened, but it's been depicted so many times onscreen that there's nothing fresh here - even if the actual telling here is accomplished. Gay filmmakers often complain that it's hard to get out of the ghetto. But standout out films, like Shelter, which are joyous and full of hope, show that gay audiences don't just want misery. A good effort, with much to recommend it, but not quite brilliant.