REVIEW: Holding the Man, a love story for everyone

STARS: Craig Stott, Sarah Snook and Ryan Corr in a scene from Holding the Man.
STARS: Craig Stott, Sarah Snook and Ryan Corr in a scene from Holding the Man. Simon Cardwell

TIM and John fell in love while teenagers at their all-boys high school.

John was captain of the football team, Tim an aspiring actor playing a minor part in Romeo and Juliet.

Their romance endured for 15 years to laugh in the face of everything life threw at them - the separations, discrimination, temptations, jealousies and losses - until the only problem that love couldn't solve, a virus, tried to destroy them.

Holding the Man is based on the best selling memoir by Tim Conigraves, and it is a love story for everyone.

It boasts a stellar cast, with Ryan Corr (The Water Diviner, Packed to the Rafters) and Craig Stott (McLeod's Daughters) in the main roles, plus Australian icons Anthony LaPaglia, Kerry Fox, Guy Pearce, Sarah Snook and Geoffrey Rush.

It's a gay love story, but above all it's a compelling love story.

Corr and Stott offer an honest depiction of young love, but the rest of the cast also succeeds in portraying the love family and friends had for the main characters, each in their own style.

Beyond the romance, this movie also contains a well-narrated record of Australia during the AIDS years and how it affected people, families and communities.

It is particularly poignant that those people, families and communities are at the cinema, with you, re-living those tragic days.

For those young enough not to have memories of those days, this film will be an eye-opener.

It will strike a chord with everyone, because good cinema always appeals to broader audiences.

This film is superbly acted, elegantly directed and finely adapted from the original book.

In a year when a long list of superb Australian films are being released, Holding the Man is a great example of local talent telling Australian stories with skill and in our own way.

Holding the Man

Director: Neil Armfield

Stars: Ryan Corr, Craig Stott, Anthony LaPaglia, Guy Pearce, Sarah Snook,Geoffrey Rush

Reviewer: Javier Encalada

Rating: 4/5

Topics:  aids editors picks gay hiv marriage equality australia

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