Doug Brod
April 25, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Bad Boy Bubby

Current Status
In Season
Claire Benito, Nicholas Hope
Rolf De Heer
Rolf De Heer
Comedy, Drama

We gave it an A

Bubby (Nicholas Hope, in a daring performance) has been locked up by his mother in a decrepit room for 35 years. When he eventually escapes to the world outside in Bad Boy Bubby, the man-child embarks on a fantastical journey toward healing and, oddly enough, pub-rock stardom. His only means of verbal communication: parroting what other people utter (usually profanities). Owing to contractual disputes, this surreal Australian drama — winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival — has been seen in the U.S. almost exclusively on bootleg tapes. It demands that viewers endure excruciating horror from the protagonist’s point of view — cockroaches, incontinence, murder by cling-wrap — so making it past the grueling first half hour can be a challenge. But the reward is a cynically funny, righteously blasphemous, surprisingly tender experience. EXTRAS In illuminating, too-brief interviews, writer-director Rolf De Heer explains why he decided to use 32 (!) cinematographers, while Hope reveals that before the shoot, the filmmaker curiously asked if he was circumcised.

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