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Praise (film)

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Directed byJohn Curran
Written byAndrew McGahan
Based onPraise
by Andrew McGahan
Produced byMartha Coleman
Helen Watts
CinematographyDion Beebe
Edited byAlexandre de Franceschi
Music byWarren Ellis
Antony Partos
Michael Turner
Emcee Films
Distributed byStrand Releasing[1]
Release dates
Running time
98 minutes
Box officeA$578,927[2]

Praise is a 1998 Australian drama film directed by John Curran and adapted by Andrew McGahan from his novel of the same name. The film stars Peter Fenton and Sacha Horler and is about two outcasts who fall into an unlikely relationship.



Gordon, a 25-year-old chain-smoking asthmatic who unhappily works at a Brisbane bottle shop, moves into a run-down residential hotel. He becomes embroiled in a romance with Cynthia, a former co-worker who suffers from eczema and low self-esteem. Gordon and Cynthia occupy themselves with drink, drugs, sex, and Scrabble. A love triangle arises when Gordon's former love, Rachel, comes back into his life.





The film premiered at the 1998 Toronto International Film Festival.[1] It was also screened as part of the Panorama section at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

Critical reception


Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times wrote Praise "is uncanny and sizzling because it has the apparently aimless feel of a bad love affair of youth, the kind of story you would overhear the thoughtless Gordon telling somebody; you would move your chair closer to catch every seamy, and often hilarious, detail."[4] He also praised Horler's performance and concluded, "Pungent, poignant and full of honest sentiment, Praise has a complicated emotional intelligence that is hard to come by in movies these days."[4]

TV Guide reviewed the filmed positively and said, "McGahan's novel was compared to Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero in its depiction of anomic slackers numbing themselves with drugs and impersonal sex. But Charles Bukowski's pickled oeuvre is the better comparison; McGahan and filmmaker John Curran lack Ellis's delusions of glamour and their tour of the low life is sordid without being exploitative, coolly compassionate without in any way glossing over Gordon and Cynthia's crippling personal deficiencies. Their doomed fling is oddly hypnotic and ultimately haunting."[5] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Praise is fun and strange, yet remarkably warm in its look at characters who let their hearts out of the bag as unwitting acts of salvation and, at the same time, self-destruction. If you want an offbeat portrait of romance, this is the movie."[6]

On review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, Praise has an approval rating of 88% based on 8 reviews.[7] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 79 based on 12 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

Awards and nominations


Australian Cinematographers Society Awards[1]

Australian Film Institute Awards[9]

ARIA Music Awards[10]

British Independent Film Awards[11]

Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards[1]

  • Best Female Actor - Sacha Horler (won)
  • Best Director - John Curran (won)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay - Andrew McGahan (won)

Gijón International Film Festival[1]

  • Best Screenplay - Andrew McGahan (won)
  • Best Feature - John Curran (nominee)

Toronto International Film Festival[12]

  • International Critics' Award (FIPRESCI) - John Curran (won)


  1. ^ a b c d e "Praise - Review - Photos - Ozmovies". www.ozmovies.com.au. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  2. ^ "Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). VicScreen. p. 19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Berlinale | Archive | Programme". www.berlinale.de. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  4. ^ a b Mitchell, Elvis (30 June 2000). "FILM REVIEW; One Passive, One Fearless: Squalid World of 2 Lovers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  5. ^ "Praise". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  6. ^ LaSalle, Mick (15 September 2000). "FILM CLIPS / Also opening". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  7. ^ "Praise". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  8. ^ "Praise". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  9. ^ "Winners & Nominees 1999". AACTA.org. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  10. ^ "1999 ARIA Awards - Nominees for Best Original Soundtrack Album". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Winners and Nominations 1999". British Independent Film Awards. 24 October 1999. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  12. ^ "23rd Toronto International Film Festival". fipresci.org. Retrieved 22 November 2022.