Thursday, June 1, 6:30 p.m.
Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA
With its cast of Australian talents including Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, Emmy Award winners Anthony LaPaglia and Guy Pearce, and Succession's Golden Globe winner Sarah Snook, the romantic drama Holding the Man will be screened at Davenport's Figge Art Museum on June 1, this 2015 critical hit the first of four award-winning independent films to be shown throughout June in recognition and celebration of Gay Pride Month.
Based on the Australian memoir by Timothy Conigrave, written by Tommy Murphy, and directed by Neil Armfield, Holding the Man is the true story of a love affair that began in prep school in 1976, when Conigrave (played here by Ryan Corr) fell in love with his high-school classmate John Caleo (Craig Stott). John was captain of the rugby team, while Tim was an aspiring actor playing a minor part in Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Though forced to keep their relationship secret because of the prejudices of fellow students, school officials, and family members, their romance went on to endure for 15 years, with Tim and John doing their best to laugh in the face of everything life threw at them -- the separations, the discrimination, the temptations, the jealousies and the losses - until the only problem that love couldn't solve tried to destroy them.
Currently boasting an 81-percent "freshness" rating on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes, Holding the Man was released in the summer of 2015 to widespread critical acclaim. The Hollywood Reporter called the film "an affecting and unexpectedly funny tale of two lovers who had the misfortune to come of age during the burgeoning HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s," while Time Out Sydney deemed the work "a true story, honestly told, that will see audiences genuinely moved." At year's end, the Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts cited Armfield's movie for six AACTA Awards: Best Film, Direction, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Actor (Corr), and Supporting Actor (LaPaglia). The Australian Film Critics Association, meanwhile, awarded Corr its Best Actor prize, while also nominating Holding the Man for Film, Director, Screenplay, and Supporting Actor.
Holding the Man will be screened in the John Deere Auditorium on June 1, admission to the 6:30 p.m. event is free, and more information is available by calling (563)326-7804 and visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.