Conigrave penned his collection of memoirs (still in print with Penguin) while kicking the bucket of HIV-related diseases three years after the demise of John Caleo, his partner of 15 years. Murphy’s script bookends the story with scenes of Conigrave composing on the Italian island of Lipari, later moving time in a not-continually fulfilling manner. While carefully picking not to fetishize period style, Armfield and Murphy get the sensibility of the time wrong; they appear to be so expectation on commending a gay romantic tale that they just feebly summon the powerful homophobia of the time, when the trepidation of revelation, particularly for high school young men, was never a long way from the surface.
At 16, Tim (Ryan Corr) has the hots for soccer star/schoolmate John (Craig Stott). It’s 1976 in Melbourne, not precisely the most open of periods, yet their stealthy undertaking is just erratically avoided cohorts.