LONELY HEARTS

1982 / 106 min / 35mm / Drama

 

Director:  Paul Cox

Producer:  John B. Murray

Associate Producers:  Erwin Rado, Fran Haarsma

Executive Producer:  Phillip Adams

Script:  Paul Cox, John Clarke

Cinematographer:  Yuri Sokol

Sound Recordist:  Ken Hammond

Production Designer:  Neil Angwin

Production Manager: Jane Ballantyne

Editor:  Tim Lewis

Cast:  Wendy Hughes, Norman Kaye, Jon Finlayson, Julia Blake, Jonathan Hardy

LONELY HEARTS Awards

1982:  AFI Award – Won Best Film: AFI – Nomination Best Direction – Paul Cox, Nomination Best Actress – Wendy Hughes, Best Actor – Norman Kaye, Nomination Best Screenplay – Paul Cox and John Clarke.

LONELY HEARTS is a sensitive love story simply told, with a rich vein of compassion and humour.  The film begins as Mrs Thompson's funeral degenerates into farce - the mourners lose the hearse.  Re-turning to his gloomy family home, Peter Thompson suddenly confronts his loneliness.  A few weeks off 50, Peter’s closest emotional attachment is to a Dachshund. 

 

Painfully aware of what he considers to be the futility of his existence, Peter decides to embark upon an adventure.  He goes to a Lonely Heart's Club and pays for 'an introduction'.  He is shown the photograph of a comparatively young and attractive woman.  On being reassured that Patricia wants an older man, Peter invests in a new toupee.

 

For Patricia, also a victim of a smothering family, their first meeting requires some courage. Painfully shy and sexually inhibited, Patricia embarks on a tentative relationship with Peter and becomes traumatized by his first clumsy attempt at love-making.

 

Tormented and desperate, Patricia rejects Peter’s attempt to explain, following which he has a grotesque encounter with a prostitute, and some clumsy shoplifting leads to his arrest and public humiliation.  When Patricia finally goes to his aid, it's as much a declaration of independence from her domineering parents as a declaration of love. 

The Washington Post - Ria Kempley - 1992

“Cox, the idiosyncratic director of ‘Lonely Hearts,’ ‘Man of Flowers’ and other odd treasures, doesn't make movies, just little miracles.”

 

Urban Cine File - Andrew L Urban - 2007

“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.”