THE feature film Newcastle will premiere in its namesake city next month but its distributor is playing down the movie's gay following overseas for fear of frightening off mainstream audiences in Australia. Newcastle, written and directed by American Dan Castle, will begin its Australian commercial release with a red-carpet premiere at Greater Union Newcastle on October 29 before opening nationally on November 6. The film, which is expected to be rated M, stars Lachlan Buchanan and Xavier Samuel as year-old brothers. While rising surf star Jesse chases waves and girls and battles his resentful older brother, a former surfing champion, misfit Fergus develops a crush on one of Jesse's macho mates. US critics have not been kind to the film, praising the Newcastle backdrops and surfing action but lambasting its coming-of-age plot and performances.
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