Walking on Water (2002)

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Released 20-Aug-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Working on Water
Featurette-SBS Movie Show Coverage
Theatrical Trailer
Deleted Scenes-10 + intro +/- commentary
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Q & A At The Kino
Trailer-Nine Queens; Rain; The Tracker; Harvard Man; Dinner Rush
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 86:52 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Tony Ayres
SBS Independent
Madman Entertainment
Starring Vince Colosimo
Maria Theodorakis
Nathaniel Dean
Judi Farr
Nicholas Bishop
David Bonney
Daniel Roberts
Anna Lise Philips
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Antony Partos

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Despite its somewhat pretentious title, Walking On Water is a relatively understated film relying on solid performances and well-scripted dialogue to carry forward a rather dark story about the way in which people deal with grief and loss. When a young gay man, Gavin (David Bonney), who is dying of AIDS, is assisted to suicide with a massive morphine overdose by his two best friends, Charlie (Vince Colosimo) and Anna (Maria Theodorakis), the stress of caring for him is finally released. What results is a pattern of behaviour indicative of post-traumatic stress disorder, each different in accordance with the individual. Charlie goes on a self-destructive binge: drinking, smoking, gambling, and dosing himself up with left-over oral morphine. Anna becomes an obsessive compulsive control freak. And Gavin’s brother, Simon (Nathaniel Dean), tries to destroy his own marriage with sexual indiscretion.

    The strength of this film lies in its performances. The entire cast is fantastic, and believable in an eerily disturbing way. Music, too, is used to great effect here, although not in the way that Hollywood films like Magnolia utilise it. This is less direct, yet still mood altering. That is not to cast aspersions on either film – both are incredibly effective – this is just a more understated version of the same technique.

    My one criticism of this film is one that I later learned was also shared by Margaret Pomeranz of the SBS Movie Show. What this film needed was a contrast – a look at what the friendship between Gavin, Charlie and Anna was like before Gavin began the long slow process of dying from such a horrible disease as AIDS. While we are given glimpses through photographs and the like, I would have liked to know the trio better in order to more fully appreciate the tragedy of the various breakdowns. Viewing the self-destruction in a vacuum the way it is presented here allows you to concentrate on the manifestations of post-traumatic stress, but keeps a reserved distance in that you never quite know the characters, you can only really interpolate from subtle sources. This would have been good if there were more of those sources, but there aren’t. Put simply, this is a brilliant movie to be sure, but it is not Lantana, and does not have quite the emotional kick in the teeth.

    For those of you who want to see a human drama which is that much different, and one firmly rooted in Australian culture, I strongly recommend picking this up and taking a look.

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Transfer Quality


    Presented in 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is the original aspect ratio of this movie.

    The quality of the picture is fantastic: smooth and sharp the whole way. Colours are rich and vibrant, with some fantastic shots of sunset on the bay full of different hues of pink and purple and orange.

    Shadow detail was excellent, which is important given the various sequences which take place at night. There was no low-level noise detected.

    MPEG artefacts were kept to the barest minimum, and all I could spot in the way of film-to-video artefacts was some very faint aliasing. This is spectacular work given the number of opportunities where the picture could have disintegrated into an MPEG ridden nightmare: waves breaking in the bay, close ups of rain hammering into black roads, and extreme facial close ups. These were all rendered so well that at times I thought I was watching projected film, not a digital picture.

    There were no film artefacts that I saw. This print is pristine.

    The dual-layer pause is not during the film. I watched this often enough to be sick, and trust me, it’s just not there. This is hardly surprising, given the running time of 86:52. My guess is, given the number of extra features, that the layer change is between the movie and the features. There is a slight tracking pause when you access the features. If I’m wrong, the pause is so well hidden as to be undetectable.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two soundtracks present on this DVD: an English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround track, and an English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track.

    The 2.0 Stereo track was fairly good, with an impressive range, but an apparent lack of surround information.

    The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround track was a real treat. Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    There is surround information aplenty, with rain and crashing waves, traffic and people creating a full soundfield.

    The range is exceptional, especially with the score by Antony Partos and the soundtrack, much of which is composed of various independent tracks with everything from hardcore dance music to well known ballads.

    Subwoofer use was excellent, used to create a chilling ambience at times (check out Charlie’s walk in the rain and traffic at 59:35 – 60:13) and also to really flesh out the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    All menus are 16x9 enhanced. They are static, although the main menu also has the score playing in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

Making Of Featurette - “Working On Water” (15:03)

    Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. This is really a collection of interviews from the cast and crew, and a surprisingly well edited one. It gives a good insight into the creation of the film from its inception without being bloated and full of extracts from the movie.

Deleted Scenes (14:23)

    There are 10 deleted scenes, presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. Picture and audio quality is not very good, but still watchable. All are available with an alternate director’s commentary.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    A rather extensive set of stills providing information on the majority of the cast and primary crew.

Awards & Nominations

    A set of 7 stills outlining the various awards this movie won.

Q&A At The Kino

    When Walking on Water was launched at the Kino Cinema in Melbourne on 26 September 2002, the director, Tony Ayres, and the two leads, Vince Colosimo and Maria Theodorakis, were there to take questions. This is 15 of those questions and their answers. This is presented in a rather interesting fashion: presented in what appears to be 1.78:1, set into a frame within the actual special features page, rather than being a separate feature of its own with an independent running time, title number, and so forth.


    A still frame advertisement for the admittedly rather good soundtrack for the film.

Promotion – Quote Bank

    A series of 6 stills with quotes by reviewers raving about the quality of this film.

SBS Movie Show Coverage (12:52)

    Two segments from the SBS Movie Show, one before the release of this film and one after, where the presenters critique the film and a series of interviews is broadcast. Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

Photo Gallery

    20 stills set inlaid within the special features page.

Trailer - Walking On Water (2:26)

    Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. Picture quality is not exceptional. Plays up the few comedic aspects of the film, which is odd given much more of the film is about bleak self-destruction.

Trailer - Nine Queens (1:50)

    Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

Trailer - Rain (2:23)

    Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

Trailer - The Tracker (2:05)

    Presented in 2.35:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

Trailer - Harvard Man (2:04)

    Presented in 2.35:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. Picture quality is quite poor on this one.

Trailer - Dinner Rush (1:54)

    Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    What R1 release?


    Walking On Water is a human drama, slightly quirky at times with its occasional off-beat humour, but really a look at post-traumatic stress and its manifestations and consequences.

    The video quality is great for an independent film on independent release.

    The sound is excellent.

    The extras offer a rather unique insight into the making of the film, and the disc is literally drowning in promotional stuffs.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Friday, May 23, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Adrian T

Comments (Add)
There is a R1 release - Jace
was this film shot on video ? -
film not video -