12 August 2015 | TrevorJD
Powerful and moving film of Tim Conigrave's well loved memoir
Director Neil Armfield, who was at the charity screening of 'Holding the Man' I went to tonight, took a huge undertaking when he decided to direct the film of Tim Conigrave's autobiographical novel (A memoir that was an ode to Conigrave's lover and partner John Caleo). As Conigrave's book became such a well loved novel, and later a successful and highly regarded stage play. And now I am proud to say a very powerful and moving film.
The film 'Holding the Man' is filled with scenes that have such a strong emotional truth to them. Particularly for a gay man like myself, who experienced those years in the 80's and early 90's when AIDS took the lives of many friends and acquaintances; and when fear and ignorance of AIDS, and towards gay men, was the norm rather than the exception. However the centre of Conigrave's memoir was a love story that lasted 15+ years, and Ryan Corr (The Water Diviner, Banished, Love Child, ) and Craig Stott bare all in brilliant performances. Corr as the loud and opinionated Tim, and Stott as amiable and quiet John create an amazing chemistry on screen, and one that will earn them universal praise. However the great performances also extend to a roll call of top Australian acting talent that includes Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Anthony Lapaglia, Kerry Fox and Marcus Graham among many others. With a film spanning the 70's, 80's and 90's, it also has a great soundtrack of hits from the era.
Tim Conigrave died 10 days after writing 'Holding the Man', He probably had no understanding what a huge impact his book would have had on so many people across the world.
Read the book and go see this great Aussie movie.