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Movie Review: Last Orders

Story: If you are under 40 I am not sure this film is for you (unless of course you just appreciate a great film). Adapted from the Booker prize winning novel Last Orders by Graham Swift this terrific memory piece was written and directed by Fred Schepisi (Six Degrees of Separation). A simple tale (aren't they sometimes the very best films)? about a man's last wishes ('orders') to have his ashes spread in the sea. The tight editing, wonderful photography and brilliant acting allow this film filled with six decades of flashbacks to envelop the viewer in the lives of some very ordinary people who have some very extraordinary moments (isn't that what all of our lives seem to be about)? This English 'road trip' film is well worth your time and money.

Acting: Hats off to the entire cast. An all English, all perfect, all generous to one another ensemble cast and in no particular order of sensational acting we have: Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast), Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay (Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner,) and David Hemmings (Blow Up).

Critters: Just dead meat.

Food: This film involved a man who was a butcher so there was lots of meat hanging around. And since this is an English film there were lots and lots of pints and white bread sandwiches with unidentifiable fillings.

Visual Art: Some wonderful touches throughout the various pubs and households.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Very appropriate and not at all heavy handed.

Theater Audience: Just the two of us in the secret balcony.

Predictability Level: There were some surprises.

Tissue Usage: I only welled up but my buddy used two whole tissues (I always bring extra - just in case).

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Nit Picking: These American ears had some trouble with the heavy English accents and use of slang. I wished for some subtitles on occasion.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen. For an incredible rental festival how about some of my favorite Michael Caine films: Alfie, Sleuth, Deathtrap, The Man Who Would be King, Education Rita, Hannah and her Sisters, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Little Voice, and The Cider House Rules.

Length: One hour ten minutes.