An AIDS movie in which the victim dies 15 minutes in, "Walking on Water" treads a wobbly course between right-on sincerity, apparent black comedy and acres of mutual grieving as it charts the effects of one man's death on his nearest and dearest. Low-budget item seems likely to turn a few specialized dollars Down Under.

An AIDS movie in which the victim dies 15 minutes in, “Walking on Water” treads a wobbly course between right-on sincerity, apparent black comedy and acres of mutual grieving as it charts the effects of one man’s death on his nearest and dearest. Low-budget item seems likely to turn a few specialized dollars Down Under, partly on the strength of local actor Vince Colosimo’s name; offshore, the usual festivals would seem to beckon, though pic’s gay element is very small and sex scenes all heterosexual.

After Anna (Maria Theodorakis) and Charlie (Colosimo) help best friend Gavin (David Bonney) die in his own bed, tensions mount between them and Gavin’s family over niceties like the funeral preparations, which the high-strung Anna insists on handling. Charlie finds little solace from his current lover, Frank (Nicholas Bishop), and Anna ends up shagging the equally tightly wound Simon (Nathaniel Dean), Gavin’s younger brother. Of the thesps, Theodorakis emerges with the most rounded character in a tiresome group whose emoting and hugging are simply self-absorption masquerading as “caring.” Macau-born Aussie Tony Ayres directs with no particular look or style, and tech credits are basic.

Walking On Water

Australia

Production

A Palace release of an SBS Independent, Adelaide Festival of Arts, Showtime Australia, New South Wales Film & Television Office presentation of a Porchlight Films production. (International sales: Fortissimo Film Sales, Amsterdam/Hong Kong.) Produced by Liz Watts. Executive producer, Bridget Ikin. Co-producer, Roger Monk. Directed by Tony Ayres. Screenplay, Roger Monk.

Crew

Camera (color), Robert Humphreys; editor, Reva Childs; music, Anthony Partos; production designer, Rebecca Cohen; costumes, Melina Dorling. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 9, 2002. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Vince Colosimo, Maria Theodorakis, Nathaniel Dean, Judi Farr, Nicholas Bishop, David Bonney, Daniel Roberts, Anna Lise Phillips.
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