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Tender Hooks
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Losers, lovable and otherwise"
2 stars

Jo Kennedy’s Mitch is poor but happy, hardworking but not downtrodden because of her sunny and non-judgmental outlook.

She lets nutty Nique Needles move in to her one-room flat when he’s fresh out of prison and looking for somewhere to live. Needles is supposed to be playing a lovable loser, but his OTT and mannered performance grates and I never found him remotely funny or endearing.

Writer-director Mary Callaghan is trying to take a fresh and bright look at some pretty heavy subjects - crime, drugs and poverty - but her approach didn’t make engaging with the material any easier. Although her characters inhabit a believable Kings Cross milieu, Tender Hooks has a dated 1980s look and feel to it (probably unavoidable on the apparently tiny budget).

The film is worth watching for Jo Kennedy’s warm and earthy performance. John Polson features in a modest, early role as a brutal lover/pimp of one of Kennedy’s girlfriends.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8110&reviewer=104
originally posted: 08/27/03 07:53:55
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Directed by
  Mary Callaghan

Written by
  Mary Callaghan

Cast
  Jo Kennedy
  Nique Needles
  Anna Phillips
  Robert Menzies
  John Polson
  Ian Mortimer



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