I opened up the script and started reading it, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s fantastic, the writing is so powerful and the characters are so strong and full, and it’s such a beautiful story and such an important story, I think, for us, because of the way things are in the world at the moment. It’s about love; it’s about hope; and it’s about family. I just went back to [my agent’s] office and said, ‘I’ve got to do this; get me this job!’
— Alex O’Loughlin, FilmStew.com, 16 September 2004
I love love-scenes in movies. Making love is part of human nature. It shows the deepest connection between two characters – especially if it is all part of a real story line and not just there for sensation or for the sake of just being there.
Whenever Oyster Farmer is discussed, the subject of the love scene on the pier turns up as well. I want to share my thoughts on it, but would like to start at the beginning.
Oyster Farmer tells many different stories and one of them is the golden tread of the beautiful love story between Jack and Pearl that developes during the course of the film. From the very first time that they meet, you know they have some sort of attraction –
Jack: “Will I see you around?”
And every time they run into each other, their curiosity about the other seems to grow even more.
Then Mumbles decides it is time to play matchmaker and he sends Pearl to ask Jack for a lift home. Jack takes his chance and tries to kiss her – but clumsiness gets in the way and the moment is lost – He takes her home.
Lucky for him he did at least manage a goodnight kiss when he dropped her off.
When Brownie sees them eyeballing each other in the pub one day, he confronts Jack about the “relationship”. He warns Jack that she is a high maintenance girlfriend and he also plants a seed of doubt with him about the source of her income. Is she earning her money with “special” favours to the men in town? She needs to get the money to pay for her hobby of buying expensive imported shoes from somewhere…..
Everything Brownie breaks down, Mumbles tries to rebuild; “She likes you” he tells Jack as they meet up with her at the post boxes. He also spills the beans on who her real father is. This helps Jack to understand her connection with Slug.
Pearl sees Jack acting very lovey-dovey with another girl at the hospital – you can see the disappointment on her face…..
And when he visits her at the post office, she enquire about his other girl. He tells her more about his past as an orphan and that he is actually there for is sister, who is recovering in hospital after an accident.
The fact that Pearl was not selling herself for money, now fills Jack with new suspicion of where she gets the money from to pay for her expensive taste. He suspects her of stealing the money that he himself stole from the fish market.
He attempts to get his money back from her by blackmailing her, but fails miserably and he accidentally causes her dogs death in the process.
For once Brownie does something good for this love story. He tells Jack that Pearl uses her credit cards to buy shoes and that her mom had to cut them up to stop the spending. He also tells Jack to make up for what he has done by buying her a new dog as present, to help her get over the loss of the dog he accidentally killed.
With all obstacles removed, Pearl takes her dads advice and invites Jack to ‘a place where you can think’ along the river. And here enters our love scene, totally motivated by all that I have mentioned before.
At this point I want to mention all the criticism I have seen on this particular love scene from others and with it, also address some of them in my views about the scene:
• They did not use a condom
• There was no foreplay
• Jack did not show a lot of stamina – it lasted only a few seconds
• Oh how uncomfortable and those splinters and rusted nails
(The thread about it on IMDB has some good answers and it is all worth a read)
There is nothing intimate about a sex scene at all.
You have got 30 people standing around and there is a camera between your legs and there are lights and make-up girls looking at your bum to make sure you haven’t got too much shine.
If I never did another one, that would be just fine.
— Alex O’Loughlin, AAP General News, Australia, 16 June 2005
Who needs foreplay if you’ve had weeks of lusting after each other. Pearl knew why she invited him there and Jack is no fool. The small talk they have while lying there, also serves as foreplay. Add to that the thrill of being intimate in open air and some kisses and undressing in front of each other and by that time you would be begging him to just get on with it…..
Rarely would the use of a condom be depicted in a movie if there is no motivation for it. Only times when you will see it mentioned is, will be when there are some joke surrounding it or when something goes wrong with it.
It is actually rare to see love scenes in movies in real-time action. You normally see some sweaty bodies moving around seductively and an edited version of intertwining moments and flashes of the process. The love scene in Oyster Farmer is a rare jewel of something real. You see the process – the kissing, the undressing and then the intercourse. Beautifully and very realistically done.
With so much history behind it plus the factors of discomfort and the thrill of a public place, a quickie is required. If you have ever had a quickie under these types of circumstances, you will know that just the thrill of it, speeds things up. There is not much action needed to reach the heights of passion. It is like the power nap of sex! Shorter and more powerful, but it serves its purpose well…… For me while watching it, those seconds feels like an eternity!
Their “moves” are also not the Hollywood directed ones used for the thrill of the viewers. They are real and raw and very believable. They are in an uncomfortable place, new to each other and hungry for passion! It also looks like no sound editing was needed. The two of them got it all to perfection.
I have watch many people watching the movie for the first time and somewhere during this scene, they all get this nervous shuffle in their chair – which tells me that they are finding it a bit uncomfortably hot, I think.
And then there are those little giggles of satisfaction from both of them at the end….sounding like some form of relieve, that they have done it and it was great!
After this and back in real life, when talking to his “mentors”, Jack talks about love. That for me, makes it so much more special, because you know he was not just banging another chick. He was MAKING LOVE……..
If we didn’t laugh about it, we would have been crying.
Now I’ve started worrying because Oyster Farmer is going out on 22 screens internationally in July, and there’ll be my naked bum again.
— Alex O’Loughlin,The Courier Mail, 23 June 2005
This story is dedicated to McMo – Thanks for being such a fun person and for loving this as much as I do!
And to Anna Reeves (Writer/ Director of Oyster Farmer)
– You are my hero for bringing the young uninhibited Alex O’Loughlin to the movies!