The internationally-heralded winner of the Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, Oliver Hermanus’ BEAUTY is a stunningly controlled, powerful story of a middle-aged man in turmoil.
Skoonheid
Director: Oliver Hermanus
Cast: Deon Lotz, Charlie Keegan
Duration: 105 mins
Country of Origin: South Africa

CTCHigh impact sexual violence and sex scene

Beauty

★★★★
“Powerful. One of the year’s most moving and fascinating films. A compelling study of voyeurism and a searing portrait of sexual obsession. One of those films in which every shot seems precisely judged. It’s air of restraint, of dignity, of studied composure makes it such a memorable experience.”
Evan Williams, THE AUSTRALIAN

★★★★
“Scorching. A film of incredible power. A rare treat that’s compelling, terrifying and heartbreaking. A film that expresses with honesty and candour the torment with which many men wrestle.”
Colin Fraser, SX

★★★1/2
“Hums with the tensions of life in post-apartheid South Africa. The sense of menace keeps on building thanks to Lotz’s performance – an unsettling lesson about the effect of silence and stillness observed in unrelenting close-ups. A macho version of the quietly devastating Elena.”
Sandra Hall, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

★★★★
“Piercing. A brutal, inverted take on Luchino Visconti’s 1971 classic, Death In Venice. Hermanus’ film serves as a bold statement on the stereotypical Afrikaans male, now struggling to remain relevant in an environment that appears foreign. It also speaks with a degree of caustic awareness on the idea of beauty: a genetic ‘gift’ that, inevitably, fades over time.”
Ed Gibbs, THE SUNDAY AGE

“Quietly candid, formally tight… as vicious as it is heartbreaking. An astutely judged and commendably barbed film.”
Guy Lodge, IN CONTENTION

“A highly rewarding experience. Memorable and challenging.”
Peter Calder, NEW ZEALAND HERALD

“Hermanus demonstrates a firm grip on the subtleties of strong-willed folk in turmoil.”
Jay Weissberg, VARIETY

“A dynamic character study of a human cannonball waiting to rip through the walls of lifelong repression.”
Glenn Heath Jr., SLANT MAGAZINE

The internationally-heralded winner of the Queer Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, and chosen as South Africa’s Official selection for the 2012 Academy Awards, BEAUTY is a stunningly controlled, powerful story of a middle-aged man in turmoil.

François van Heerden (Deon Lotz) is a successful family man in his mid-40s who lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He runs his own timber company, is the father of two daughters and is a devoted husband, but beneath the veneer of this seemingly faultless Afrikaner is a nest of internal conflict. Over the years he has managed to suppress care or concern for his own measure of fulfillment, and is wholly unprepared when a chance encounter unravels his clean, controlled life. The trigger is Christian (Charlie Keegan): the self-possessed 23-year-old son of a long lost friend, and the personification of a handsome young man in the prime of his life. His arrival throws François into flux, and instantly sets him on a desperate attempt at taking from the world that which he has always secretly wanted: happiness.

Directed and co-written by rising talent Oliver Hermanus, this electrifying drama is an illuminating and indelible study in obsession and self-destruction, and a cinema experience you’ll not easily forget.

MORE…
Oliver Hermanus arrives for the Sydney Premiere at the Sydney Film Festival.

SBS Films interview director Oliver Hermanus.

ABC Radio National’s Julie Rigg previews BEAUTY and interviews director Oliver Hermanus at the Sydney Film Festival.

Deon Lotz discusses the film and his award-winning performance.

Supporting actor Charlie Keegan discusses his involvement in BEAUTY.

View more images here


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