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Australia 1992
Directed by
Jocelyn Moorhouse
86 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Proof (1992)

Written by Moorhouse and originally conceived as a 50 minute film, this debut feature was a critical success winning Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Russell Crowe in his first significant screen appearance), Best Actor (Hugo Weaving), Best Editing (Ken Sallows), General Members' Prize for Excellence, Best Director, and Best Screenplay at the Australian Film Institute Awards as well as Outstanding First Feature at the British Film Institute Awards (1992) amongst other international awards. It also did quite well at the domestic box office, taking over $AU2m on its theatrical release alone.

Martin (Weaving) is a blind man looked after by a long-suffering housekeeper, Celia (Genevieve Picot).  Distrustful of the world around him he takes photographs to verify the reality of what he believes to exist and gets Celia to describe their contents to him.  When Martin meets Andy (Crowe) a kitchen-hand at a local restaurant the two strike up an unlikely friendship, but when Andy also hits it off with Celia, sexual tensions are brought to a head with Martin once again withdrawing into himself.

Firmly at the art-end of the Australian film spectrum it is a well-made film, impressive from concept to realisation and with its somewhat cynical portrayal of human relations it has the credentials to appeal to a intellectual, literate audience.

Moorhouse subsequently went on to direct How To Make An American Quilt (1995) and A Thousand Acres (1997) and together with her producer on this, Linda House, produced Muriel's Wedding (1994) for her husband P.J. Hogan. Cinematographer Martin McGrath also did Muriel's Wedding and Children of the Revolution (1996) whilst Weaving and Crowe went to international careers although such was not the case for the female stars, Picot and Heather Mitchell.

 

 

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