Gavin's flatmates Charlie and Anna are finally prepared to let him die with dignity, and have found a GP willing to administer a lethal dose of morphine. Gavin's mother and younger brother Simon, with wife and baby in tow, immediately drive to Sydney. Then, in the aftermath of Gavin's death, tempers fray as friends and family grapple ineptly with their loss. This traumatic event is the catalyst for an emotional rollercoaster ride: from illicit affairs and leftover morphine, to devastating accusations and unwitting betrayals. 


Charlie (Vince Colosimo), Anna, (Maria Theodorakis) and Charlie`s boyfriend Frank, (Nicholas Bishop) have had a stressful eighteen months looking after their friend Gavin, (David Bonney) who`s been heading towards an AIDS-related death.

When the film opens the final moment has come. Gavin`s family arrives from South Australia - his mother (Judi Farr), his brother Simon, (Nathanial Dean) to be informed that Gavin has asked to die with dignity. And there`s anguish for family and friends as a result of this request. Gavin`s death is dealt with in a variety of ways - Anna becomes a control freak and Charlie starts dulling his pain with leftover morphine. It`s a household in crisis.

There`s much to admire in Walking on Water, it`s been excellently shot by Robert Humphreys and the sound design by Liam Egan working with Antony Partos` music once again shows how fine Australian sound craftspeople really are.

Director Tony Ayres, working from a screenplay by Roger Monk, has worked against any mawkish sentimentality in the film, making the film emotionally rather distanced.

Performances vary but Colosimo is a solid centre in this ensemble piece, in which, to the actors credit some of the key characters are determinedly unsympathetic.

Comments from David Stratton: This superb film about loss could have been unbearably sad, but it's leavened with a strong sense of very Australian humour. The story and the handling of it, by Tony Ayres, are simple enough, but this is a quite haunting piece of work and the performances are uniformly excellent, with Maria Theodorakis and Vince Colosimo outstanding.