Best in Show: Ray Winstone
One for the future: JJ Feild
Stand-out scene: Amy and her daughter
Brainer or no-brainer: Brainer
Stands up to one viewing or repeated?: Repeated
DVD commentary any good?: n/a
Graham Swift's novel Waterland made a big impression on me and when this garnered much praise upon its release in 2001 I knew it would be worth a look. Directed by Australian Fred Schepisi, its quintessentially British approach is well preserved and a terrific ensemble cast does the material maximum justice. When Jack (Michael Caine), one of a quartet of drinking buddies passes away, the three remaining chums (Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay and David Hemmings) join forces with Jack's son Vince to carry out Jack's last orders - that his remains be scattered off Margate pier. With Jack's widow (Helen Mirren, for once acting her age) also in the loop, the movie takes a complicated flashback flashforward approach that demands the undivided attention of the viewer. Encompassing a broad range of subplots over its running time, this is a richly rewarding film experience deftly choreographed by Schepisi. Having made such a striking couple in The Long Good Friday, the chemistry between Mirren and Hoskins is undiminished and thanks to spot-on casting, there's no weak link to speak of among the cast. Magnificent.