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Predicament
IMDB Rating: 5.2/10 from 185 votes
Release: 26 August 2010 (New Zealand) /

Predicament

Genre: Comedy, Crime
Director: Jason Stutter,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: Naïve teenager Cedric Williamson, conspires with two misfits to photograph and blackmail adulterous couples. When the scam goes wrong they end up with blood on their hands. Tortured by lust, roped into blackmail and possibly an accessory to murder, Cedric is in a predicament. Written by Anonymous

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Critic Reviews


Set in a stylised 1930s New Zealand that we wish we'd had, Jason Stutter's PREDICAMENT manages to be both faithful to the book on which its based, the period in which its set and to tip its hat to plenty of movies made since that time (it would be silly to ignore them!).

Lonely and awkward (nerdy, in today's parlance) teenager Cedric (Hayden Frost) is delighted to be befriended by burly blowhard Mervyn Toebeck (Heath Franklin), but it isn't long before he's starting to regret inviting the freeloading oaf into his family home. When Mervyn's old chum The Spook (Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement, in a scene-stealing turn) starts hanging around and suggesting voyeurism and blackmail, things get quickly out of Cedric's depth.

The film is not slave to a page by page adaptation of the book. It rearranges a handful of key elements from the source novel -- mostly for chronology reasons -- and ventures, with sensitivity and success, into some of the psychology of Cedric's father (Tim Finn) and the tower he's building.

The film looks terrific, and is shot with a larger than life verve that captures the period but not without contemporary punch. It rolls along with tawdry fun and plenty of laughs -- particularly when Clement's Spook is playing off Franklin's Mervyn.

At times the fluid turns of the plotters' scheme may befuddle viewers unfamiliar with Ronald Hugh Morrieson's novel, but the character colour and unflagging likability of the puppyish Cedric will keep most people engaged until all the strands come together at the end.

Stutter's script is a lucid and thoughtful adaptation of a difficult book to adapt; Simon Raby's cinematography is superb; Clement is, as usual, batty fun. Aussie Franklin sometimes has trouble getting long tracts of period kiwi dialogue out 100% convincingly and Tim Finn is, oddly, better when he's being less kooky later in the film ... but the film is satisfying result for a film that's taken a long time to reach the screen and a fitting companion to the Came a Hot Friday and Scarecrow adaptations.

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