X: Film Review
Brisbane International Film Festival
Viva Bianca, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence, Peter Docker, Stephen Phillips
"Spartacus" actress Viva Bianca stars as a high-class call girl in director Jon Hewitt's erotic thriller.
The pretty woman at the center of Jon Hewitt’s erotic thriller X is no hooker with a heart of gold and there’s no romeo waiting for her in the wings. Holly (Viva Bianca) is a high-class call-girl who, with teenage apprentice Shay (Hanna Mangan-Lawrence), spends a harrowing last night on the job in Sydney’s red light district of King’s Cross.
Australian genre director Hewitt (Acolytes, Redball) has a reputation for telling it like it is, and his latest, co-written with wife Belinda McClory, is an edgy affair, embracing frontal nudity, hardcore violence and the inevitable sleaze that accompanies this milieu.
High-quality production values and skilled performances put this low-budget thriller somewhere between arthouse and adults-only. It should perform particularly well in ancillary markets following its local theatrical release Nov. 24.
The night of a full moon sees veteran prostitute Holly fulfilling one final obligation before “retiring” to Paris. A series of misadventures force her to form an alliance with newbie streetwalker Shay and the pair play a treacherous game of cat-and-mouse through the city’s sordid underbelly with a murderer (Stephen Phillips) and Holly’s rogue cop boyfriend (Peter Docker).
Hewitt keeps a steady hand on the tiller, maneuvering between tense action sequences and unhurried ruminations on the eternal despair that surrounds the world’s oldest profession.
Venue: Brisbane International Film Festival
Production company: Circe Films
Cast: Viva Bianca, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence, Peter Docker, Stephen Phillips
Director: Jon Hewitt
Screenwriters: Jon Hewitt and Belinda McClory
Producer: Lizette Atkins
Co-producer: Jon Hewitt
Director of photography: Mark Pugh
Production designer: Michelle Sotheren
Costume designer: Vanessa Loh
Music: J. David Franzke, Byron J. Scullin
Editor: Cindy Clarkson
Sales: Celluloid Nightmares, LA
No MPAA rating, 85 minutes