Lisa Schwarzbaum
February 15, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

Last Orders

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
109 minutes
Limited Release Date
02/15/02
performer
Michael Caine, Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren
director
Fred Schepisi
distributor
Sony Pictures Classics
author
Fred Schepisi
genre
Drama

We gave it a B-

It takes a village, or at least a pub stocked with British actors, to fulfill a dead man’s wishes in Last Orders, Fred Schepisi’s workmanlike but uninvolving adaptation of Graham Swift’s Booker Prize-winning novel. And as four men and a box of ashes motor toward the seaside town that their late mate, butcher Jack Dodds (Michael Caine), requested as his final resting place, the relationships of those present dissolve into scenes from the past, then jump forward again, and back, and forward, and so forth, until a whole dying generation is filtered through the portrait of one average man.

The storytelling may be ordinary, but the cast is one of those all-star reunions that fans of ”Gosford Park” have come to assume is just another day of Brit cinema: Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins, and Ray Winstone join Caine in Cockney accents, while Helen Mirren does her plain thing as Dodds’ tired widow.

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