Last Orders

Rated NR

Three aging Cockney drinking buddies gather to recall the life of their departed friend, the second-generation butcher Jack (Michael Caine), and to travel together with his car-dealer son (Ray Winstone) to scatter his ashes in the sea. Written and directed by Aussie filmmaker Fred Schepisi, Last Orders is based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by Graham Swift. Jack’s life is recounted through an extended series of flashbacks, a technique that underscores the warm, tender tone of the four men’s relationship over the years. Therefore, cry-in-their-pint sentimentalists will adore the film and seen-it-all cynics may find it mawkish. None of which negates the incredible performances by veteran actors Caine, Winstone, David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins and Tom Courtenay. The incomparable Helen Mirren appears, too, as Jack’s widow, who has some issues of her own to explore. Outside of Gosford Park, no recent film displays a finer collection of British acting talent.

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