Directed by Michael Jones
Written by Caitlin Farrugia and Michael Jones
Starring Jackson Tozer, Fabiana Weiner, Troy Larkin, Eva Seymour, Tegan Crowley, Francis Greenslade and Maude Davey
“A highly enjoyable watch. One of the finest examples of independent filmmaking we’ve seen in years.”
by Matthew Eeles
It’s hard not to compare the structure of Michael Jones’ Lazybones to that of 90’s TV phenomenon, Seinfeld. At its core it’s a film about nothing, while each of its chapters are broken up with a belly laugh-inducing standup comedy routine. Director Jones has juxtaposed the format and the increasingly popular mumblecore movement with flawless precision.
Ben (Jackson Tozer) is an Uber driver by day and spends his nights performing standup comedy at half empty clubs in inner city Melbourne. His life is far from admirable and his sheer laziness as a human being is having a severe effect on his love life and career. His friends are no better. Best friend, Lucy (Fabiana Weiner), is constantly contemplating her future with her current squeeze, while brother Troy (Troy Larkin) is coming off a heavy breakup with his boyfriend. None of these characters can seem to move forward, and are all making very little effort to do so.
Lazybones is a performance driven film and its young cast of newcomers are all incredible. As it was in this year’s Joe Cinque’s Consolation, Tozer’s performance as the sweet and funny Ben is effortlessly brilliant and arguably award-worthy. His natural ability to improvise his lines and keep long, dialogue driven scenes flowing is such a joy to watch. It’s a pity though that the other two main characters, Lucy and Troy, aren’t fleshed out more. Their character development would have been welcome during some lulls in the middle of the film. It’s also worth mentioning the performances of the two older leads, Maude Davey and Francis Greenslade as Ben’s parents. It’s criminal how underused these two are as actors in contemporary Australian cinema.
Without ever becoming too political or too topical, Lazybones is an accurate portrayal of modern life for a large portion of Australian 20-somethings. It’s a highly enjoyable watch and one of the finest examples of low-budget, independent filmmaking we’ve seen in years.
You can catch Lazybones at this year’s Gold Coast Film Festival. Details here.