Dean Spanley (2008)

My Talks with Dean Spanley
Feature Film | Drama | New Zealand/UK | English | 1h40m
Dir: Toa Fraser | Scr: Alan Sharp | Novel: Lord Dunsany | Ph: Leon Narbey | Prod: Alan Harris & Matthew Metcalfe | Mus: Don McGlashan | Ed: Chris Plummer | PD: Andrew McAlpine | Cast: Jeremy Northam, Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Peter O'Toole, Judy Parfitt, Art Malik, Ramon Tikaram

A man grieving for his war-dead brother and recently-departed mother finds his interest in reincarnation piqued by his Tokaji-fuelled Thursday night conversations with the titular religious figure, who finds himself transported back to a previous life as a dog whenever he imbibes said Hungarian wine, in Fraser’s gently affecting Edwardian-set drama. The film is generally well-crafted, though McGlashan’s vaguely overblown score occasionally threatens to overwhelm the otherwise understated, talky action. However, the performances are all good, with O'Toole’s terribly affecting turn proving the stand-out.