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LONELY HEARTS: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Patricia (Wendy Hughes) is a 30-year-old dowdy and sexually repressed bank clerk, who has only just moved into her own apartment. Peter (Norman Kaye) is a 50 year old piano tuner and kleptomaniac who still lives with his mother, but when she dies, he is driven to try a dating service, where he meets Patricia. After an awkward dinner at her flat, their first date is at a geriatric bingo game, and things go fumbling and stumbling from there, while they cope with the difficulties and disruptions from their overbearing family members - and Patricia's fear of sex.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
One of the small but valuable gems of Australian cinema, Lonely Hearts is a gently ascerbic film, if there is such a thing, exploring an Australia from a rather different perspective than was the usual case in the 70s and 80s. Here, the themes are loneliness, vulnerability, weakness and the mundane battles of the everyday. But to make these themes appealing or engaging takes good writing, and Paul Cox has teamed with John Clarke for a complex and entertaining screenplay.

Norman Kaye makes us care about Peter's fate as much as Wendy Hughes does for Patricia. These essentially private and lonely people have little in common - except a need for someone to share with. Their performances make the film a joy.

The transfer is less than sharp, and the 4:3 aspect ratio seems oddly old fashioned now - but these are technicalities that can't damage Lonely Hearts, with its blend of dark humour, recognisable characters and fate's sense of humour.

The extensive featurette (almost 60 minutes) has some of the key filmmakers talk about the film from today's perspective, providing all important context and some historical footnotes. There is a moving tribute to the late Norman Kaye from Paul Cox, and some interesting observations from Phillip Adams, who was executive producer for the then Packer Adams Films company.

Published August 30, 2007

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

LONELY HEARTS: DVD (M)
(Aust, 1981)

CAST: Norman Kaye, Wendy Hughes, Jon Finlayson, Julia Blake, Jonathan Hardy, Irene Inescort, Vic Gordon, Ted Grove-Rogers, Ron Falk, Chris Haywood, Kris McQuade, Margaret Steven

PRODUCER: John B. Murray

DIRECTOR: Paul Cox

SCRIPT: Paul Cox, John Clarke

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Yuri Sokol ACS

EDITOR: Tim Lewis

MUSIC: Norman Kaye (arranged and performed by)

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Neil Angwin

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

PRESENTATION: 4:3; 2.0 mono

SPECIAL FEATURES: Making of ...interviews with Paul Cox, John Clarke, Wendy Hughes, Phillip Adams

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella

DVD RELEASE: August 5, 2007







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