Last Orders

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I was able to see Last Orders tonight. It was well worth the outing, through the cold and rain.

Adapted (very well) from the Graham Swift novel, this English import stars a Mount Rushmore of that isle's best actors: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Ray Winstone, Tom Courtenay and Michael Caine. All are perfectly cast, all are in top form. Structured around scattering the ashes of one of the characters, it moves backwards and forwards in time to show memories of the various choices made in these lives. Each individual is drawn completely, and we see how their lives have touched each other. Nothing Earth-shattering or intricately plotted, just the kind of character-based story Hollywood so rarely tells anymore.

Last Orders is funny and sad and rings true. It was directed by Fred Schepisi, a journeyman responsible for movies as diverse as Roxanne, A Cry in the Dark, The Russia House, Iceman, Six Degrees of Separation and Fierce Creatures. This is a beautifully understated piece that lets these incredibly strong actors do what they do best. Schepisi also wrote the script from the Swift novel.

Grade: B+
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra

bigvalbowski's Avatar
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A truly great character study. Last Orders is full of honest performances and genuine emotion. I had a great time watching it.

Disappointingly I had to watch four people in the row in front of me walk out thirty minutes into the movie. Why? I suspect a lack of frenetic editing or manufactured Hollywood performances drove them from their seats.

In Holden's cast list he forgot David Hemmings, he of the best eyebrows in the industry (you might have seen him in Gladiator). I thought his performance was first rate. And more than any of the cast he looked like he was a bar regular. Hope this is the start of a return to action for the pointy-eyebrowed one. You might think that his younger self looked astonishingly similar to him too. That's because it was his son.
I couldn't believe that she knew my name. Some of my best friends didn't know my name.