Urban Cinefile
"If the Titanic is a metaphor for the certainty of death, then the denial phase was, ‘I can’t die, this ship can’t sink.’"  -director James Cameron
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 

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Awarded, applauded and acclaimed, Innocence has touched the hearts of many cinema lovers with its story of reignited love in two people old enough to have grandchildren. Filmmaker Paul Cox, internationally recognised, also scores a personal triumph with the film, seeing it embraced by a wide cross section of audiences, reports Andrew L. Urban.

It is ironic that this story of oldies reigniting their love and lust should be the film that reignites interest at home in Paul Cox. It is not a subject that – on paper at least – carries much promise either as festival fare or as commercial product. On screen, love stories don’t happen to people contemplating retirement homes. Nor has Paul Cox basked in the sun of home grown adoration lately. Indeed, he left in disgust a few years ago, feeling rather like the proverbial pearls. Now, the proverbial swine seem to have grown taste buds! Will this change Paul Cox? Will there be thunder and Lightning? Will his next work, the electrifying tale of a brilliant madman dancer, Nijinski, be received with greater interest and applause? Who knows. This is showbiz.

One thing is sure, though: Innocence has stamped his career with "Success" again, no matter how it fares commercially. In the eyes of the world outside Hollywood studios, success is not measured purely by box office. The word for that sort of success is spelled P O P U L A R. Not necessarily the same thing.

Success, let’s face it, is actually a private matter: I feel successful if I satisfy my own standards in whatever I set out to achieve. Real success is self administered. Anyhow, Paul Cox has plenty to be proud of with Innocence: it jolts us with its bitter sweet quality, its observation about love and humanity, and above all, it dares to walk where so few have ventured. Love and sexuality in old age. Considering we all end up in that uncertain zone, it is worth exploring.

Awards and Acclaim for Innocence:

Winner – Grand Prix of the Americas (joint best film)
Winner – People's Choice Award 2000 Montreal World Film Festival
Winner – FIPRESCI International Critics Prize 2000 Taormina Film Festival, Sicily
Third Prize People's Choice Award (joint) 2000 Toronto International Film Festival
Winner – Best Film Vlissengen Film Festival, Holland
Winner – Best Film Saint-Tropez Film Festival 2000
Winner – Audience Favourite Award (Best Film) CineVegas Film Festival 2000

if Awards 2000, Australia:
Winner – Independent Filmmaker of the Year: Paul Cox
Winner – Best Independent Feature Film
Winner – Best Actress in an Independent Feature
Winner – Best Visual Design/Editing in an Independent Feature
Winner – Best Sound Design in an Independent Feature

Voted one of the top Audience Choices
Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane Festivals 2000

International Festivals
Taormina Film Festival, Sicily
Montreal World Film Festival, Canada
Telluride Film Festival, USA
Toronto International Film Festival, Canada
Vlissengen Film Festival, Holland
Chicago Film Festival, USA
Hamptons Film Festival, USA
Mill Valley Film Festival, USA
Saint-Tropez World Film Festival
Ghent Film Festival, Belgium
CineVegas Film Festival, USA
Australasia Festivals
Auckland ~ Wellington
Sydney ~ Melbourne ~ Brisbane

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When he discovers she is living in the same city as he, Andreas (Charles Tingwell) is moved to contact an old flame from his youth, Claire (Julia Blake), the young woman who was his first true love 50 years earlier. He is a widower, but Claire is married to the very much alive – though physically distant - John (Terry Norris) but she hesitatingly responds. Soon, however, the flames of passion are reignited and the lovers discover their love has matured along with them. John can’t imagine Claire being in love; she must be ill…but nothing he says will alter her feelings for Andreas.

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