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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 14.71%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 2.94%
Total Crap: 2.94%

3 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Last Orders
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Last hurrah"
5 stars

Last Orders is a seamless adaptation of Graham Swift’s Booker Prize-winning novel.

It’s the tale of four working-class mates burying a fifth, and his widow. Without ado, writer-director Fred Schepisi shifts back and forth in time, gradually assembling each character’s history and adding layers of texture to their inter-relationships.

He’s assembled a team of prestige British players - Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings, Ray Winstone and Helen Mirren. The attention to detail in the casting of the younger counterparts is extraordinary. The actors in the flashbacks really feel - and look - like the adults at an earlier stage of their lives (casting Hemmings’ son and Winstone’s daughter helps). The effect is an overwhelming poignancy.

Schepisi’s screenplay sidesteps all the obvious tear jerking moments, so you feel genuine emotion at the heartfelt expressions of these ordinary people. For instance, Caine telling Mirren that she’s still beautiful is especially touching once we’ve seen how they met.

Last Orders is more about life than death. It’s thoughtful rather than sombre, with a gentle humour that prevents it ever being downbeat. Schepisi the director unfolds this intricate story with a relaxed but firm hand. Brian Tufano’s camera captures the look and feel of England past and present aided immeasurably by Celia Bobak’s lovely period set decoration.

This is a film of small moments that combine to make up an unforgettably moving and complex whole.

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originally posted: 09/19/02 13:51:32
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User Comments

12/15/11 Suzz Book is good but the film is better. Usually the reverse. 4 stars
8/22/04 Jesse Lykken The Hosking/Mittrn reunion is sublime, and about time! 5 stars
12/04/03 Kayla Helen Mirren was great in this film. Isnt she THE BEST actress of ALL TIME! Helen is great! 5 stars
3/27/03 Jack Sommersby One of 2002's 10-best films. 4 stars
9/16/02 Francis Well acted, etc., but unrelentingly boring (so was the book) 1 stars
8/29/02 daveupho great cast, touching story and full of touching moments. 5 stars
8/28/02 viking Simply superb !!! 5 stars
8/21/02 ownerofdajoint trulyremarkable 5 stars
7/28/02 Matthew Smith the strength of the film are the superb cast and great performances from everyone of them 4 stars
7/19/02 Pierce Lanson Beautifully made, intelligent, touching, surprising,Fred's best ever 5 stars
3/29/02 Ian Waldron-Mantgani, The UK Critic Yes, the story was touching, but the film was very poorly made and came off as tacky. 2 stars
3/22/02 naturalhealer7 A wonderfully acted film with a great cast. It's moving, without being overly sentimental. 4 stars
3/17/02 Teresa A story about love, heartbreak, vices, growing up, living your life your way and death. 5 stars
2/19/02 Heather Abandon the multiplexes and run to the arthouses to see this wonderful little movie :-) 5 stars
1/12/02 andrew berth slow to start but once into it GREAT!!!! 4 stars
1/12/02 alex muffin moving journey through life which could have you in tears 5 stars
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  15-Feb-2002 (R)



Directed by
  Fred Schepisi

Written by
  Fred Schepisi

  Michael Caine
  Bob Hoskins
  Helen Mirren
  Tom Courtenay
  David Hemmings
  Ray Winstone

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