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Anchored by an outstanding turn by Asian Film Award-winner Donny Damara and bathed in an appropriately seedy neon wash, Indonesian indie writer-director Teddy Soeriaatmadjas Lovely Man is, in a word, lovely. Working with well-worn material about family relationships and father-daughter bonds that is never once in danger of falling into cliché this layered two-hander unfolds over the course of one enlightening and bittersweet night. Soeriaatmadjas astute script and Damaras sensitive, nuanced performance grab viewers from minute one and remain compelling throughout.
The films relatively brief running time (a scant 75 minutes) will make traditional distribution tricky, but Lovely Man will make its way onto most festival radars. In a perfect world it would see at least an art house release in Europe and North America, even though its steady, tolerant hand also desperately needs to be seen in Asia. The film could find space in newer outlets like VOD and perhaps premium cable.
Proper, devout ...