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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

Lonesome ****

Starring: Josh Lavery, Daniel Gabriel, Anni Finsterer, Ian Roberts

Director: Craig Boreham

Country: Australia


Casey (Lavery) is a country boy from the outback, arriving in Sydney for the very first time. Homeless and unemployed, he is running from a scandal at home, hoping to start a new life by meeting people through hookup apps. One of his meets is Tib (Gabriel), a sweet but damaged boy who agrees to give him a sofa to sleep on and a part-time job to help pay his way.


A wildly erotic and sexually charged film, the lens positively drinks the impossibly handsome Josh Lavery, who spends much of the film in stages of undress. A brooding, seething, enigmatic pin-up of a man with echoes of Hustler White, this is a fascinating character whose flaws run deep and actions ring painfully true. On a path careening toward total self-annihilation, he has nothing to lose and his impulsive recklessness gives this character portrait an overwhelmingly magnetic subject. And there’s something utterly brazen about the director’s crystal clear obsession with his star, who dominates the frame but yet speaks so little.


Tib is also a rounded role, with much more to him than just being cast as Casey’s saviour. And with compelling supporting roles including a lonely housewife who employs them to work in her garden (Finisterer) and the gruff owner of a sex-dungeon (Roberts), the film rests comfortably on a simple but concisely confident script.


There might be little new to this self-destruction vs. redemption fable, but it’s executed so exquisitely that this barely matters. Dark, dirty and proudly sexy, there is a breathless sensuality too, hidden beneath the cold composition of rampant sex. Lavery carries the film, but it’s pulled together by a self-assured director who knows exactly how to frame a muscular skinhead cowboy and make us all want to look after him.


UK Release: 6th March 2023 on DVD and VOD, released by Peccadillo Pictures

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