Best in Show: Billy Connelly
One for the future: Billy Connelly
Stand-out scene: Boat explosion
Brainer or no-brainer: No brainer
Stands up to one viewing or repeated?: Repeated
DVD commentary any good?: n/a
Billy Connelly's been acting in full length features since 1978 and it must be said that for every Mrs Brown (i.e. spectacularly good) there's been a Garfield 2: A Tale of Two Kitties (i.e. spectacularly bad). This, happily, falls into the former category with Connelly ideal as the lawyer turned fisherman turned lawyer whose small fishing vessel is reduced to matchwood by a bolt of lightening during a storm. When he tries to claim on his insurance, he's informed that as the boat was destroyed by an act of God, the insurance company will not pay out. Incensed, the ex pat Scot brings out a lawsuit against God, the liable parties being the Jewish and Christian churches - the big man's representatives on earth. The Big Yin has many a comedic moment as Steve Myers, his first meeting with journalist Anna Redmond (Judy Davis) providing much mirth. Of course this is a fiction as every insurance company in the world would be affected if the 'act of God' clause was overturned in court. Davis's real-life other half Colin Friels plays Steve's lawyer brother David (his formative years in Ayrshire helps with an authentic accent) and there's a daughter (Emily Browning from the Lemony Snicket movie) to muddy the waters when it looks like Myers' court action will come to nothing and his ex-wife will move her to Perth (the equivalent of Manchester in EastEnders). There's a formula at play here but Connelly's so engaging that its hour and a half running time breezes by (and there's plenty of beautiful footage of Australia to boot). Mark Joffe's not directed again since making this in 2001 which is a pity as he has a lightness of touch many helmspersons could well do with. Writer John Clarke's contributed to the excellent Kath & Kim and his work gives Connelly and Davis much to sink their comedic teeth into. A hidden gem.