starring Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko, Yilmaz Erdogan, Cem Yilmaz
screenplay by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios
directed by Russell Crowe
by Walter Chaw The Water Diviner is premium schmaltz. Connoisseurs of such will find its top-shelf qualities to include a Witness-like star-cross'd pas de deux; dead wives and sons; surrogate wives and sons; surrogate father figures fighting, Footloose-like, against oppressive cultures; a Fisher King rescue from insanity; and enough war-movie boilerplate to choke a War Horse. Its direct antecedent is of course Peter Weir's Gallipoli, except that Gallipoli is something of a masterpiece that balances its war journal with strong characters and a tragic ending in keeping with its grim subject matter. The Water Diviner, on the contrary, is a bodice-ripper chock-a-block with hole-digging and sky-beseeching, along with an Outback dust-storm that points, if the trailers for Mad Max: Fury Road are any indication, to this year's most inexplicable evidence of zeitgeist.