After a hugely successful launch on the film festival circuit, Australian film Acute Misfortune is now available to stream exclusively on Stan.
Based on the award-winning biography of Archibald Prize winner Adam Cullen by Erik Jensen, the founding editor of The Saturday Paper, the acclaimed film is a bold, layered depiction of the relationship between the biographer and his subject.
The debut feature of Thomas M. Wright (The Unknown Man, Barkskins, Top of the Lake), from a screenplay by Jensen and Wright, Acute Misfortune is produced by Arenamedia, Plot Media and Blackheath Film, and features AACTA Best Actor winner Daniel Henshall (Defending Jacob, Bloom, Snowtown) as Adam Cullen and with a breakout performance by Toby Wallace (Babyteeth, The Society, Romper Stomper) as Jensen.
Acute Misfortune was named one of the best films of the year by The Monthly and Screen Daily and was the recipient of The Age Critics Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival. It was acclaimed by The Guardian, in a five-star review, as “The best Australian Bio-Pic since Chopper” and was named the best Australian film of 2019 and later named one of The Guardian’s “10 Best Australian Films of the decade 2010-2020”. The Hollywood Reporter called it “One of the year’s most striking and accomplished directorial debuts.” The score by Evelyn Ida Morris was the only feature score to receive an ARIA nomination.
Erik Jensen was an ambitious nineteen-year-old journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald when he was commissioned to write a profile of the painter Adam Cullen, the most prominent painter of his generation, who at forty-two was the youngest ever subject of a career retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. After reading the article, Cullen invited Jensen to write his biography.
Jensen spent four years on and off with Cullen until his death at the age of 46. This is the story of their increasingly claustrophobic relationship. Cullen lied to Jensen, shot him and threw him from a motorbike. Acute Misfortune reveals an iconic artist and an acclaimed journalist in unsparing detail. It is a film about acclaim and identity; theft and the commerce of theft, the instability of lies and the consequences of a flawed contract; and about coming through an abusive relationship to find meaning in its wake.