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Last Orders

By Ian Grey | Posted

It must be hard being Fred Schepisi. He has directed several somewhat languorous but fine films, including Six Degrees of Separation, Roxanne, and Plenty. Alas, Schepisi will probably be remembered for adding to the easy-yuks lexicon of film nerds everywhere courtesy Meryl Streep's declaration that "The dingo ate my baby!" in A Cry in the Dark. The paceless Last Orders will do nothing to change this sardonic fate. Based on a novel by Graham Swift, Last Orders laboriously relates the story of four friends--played by Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins, and Ray Winstone--who, in respect for the "last orders" of recently deceased pal Jack (Michael Caine), take Jack's ashes to a seashore resort and scatter them to the wind. And that's it for story, for 109 minutes. It's disheartening to watch some of Britain's finest fumble through a script that mainly requires them to look wistful, gracelessly fumble about in pubs, or wait for younger actors to Live Life in assorted Vaseline-lensed flashbacks. But really, it's not the absence of story, character development, or point that makes sitting through Last Orders so dismaying. It's the implication that growing old sucks, which is a bunch of hooey that you don't need to pay to suffer through.

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