This offbeat father and son feature was written by Scotsman Alan Sharp, and mostly filmed in the UK by a Fijian-Brit Kiwi. Lawrence of Arabia legend Peter O'Toole plays a stiff upper lip Englishman whose frosty relationship with his son warms after hearing an extraordinary tale of reincarnation from Reverend Dean Spanley (Sam Neill). Based on an Edward Plunkett novella, Toa Fraser's second feature won praise for its cast, and mix of comedy and poignancy, "intertwined to the last" (The Age). Spanley won a host of Qantas awards; GQ rated it their film of the year.
While Neill gives a masterclass in subtle eccentricity and Northam and Brown happily play second string, the theatricals are wisely left to legendary virtuoso O'Toole.– Sky Movies reviewer Eliot Noble, 9 May 2009
General Film Corporation
Atlantic Film Production
Music composed by Don McGlashan. Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marc Taddei and Don McGlashan.
Soundtrack includes performances by the Musica Sacra choir