How to watch The Great Escaper in Australia

British acting legends Michael Caine and Glenda Jackson give their final performances in this warm, astute drama from the director of An Ideal Husband.

How to watch  The Great Escaper in Australia

The Great Escaper is now screening in Australian cinemas.

What is The Great Escaper about?

Directed by Oliver Parker, written by William Ivory, and rather loosely inspired by actual events, The Great Escaper sees Michael Caine as 89-year-old WWII naval veteran Bernie Jordan who, keen not to miss the 2014 70th Anniversary D-Day commemorations in France, absconds from his nursing home to make the trip under his own power.

While Bernie bonds with fellow veterans like Arthur (John Standing) and his wife, Irene (Glenda Jackson), forges a connection with overworked nurse Adele (Danielle Vitalis) back home, everyone reflects on their memories of and feelings about the war. Sure, it’s a feel-good comedy, but The Great Escaper doesn’t shy away from acknowledging the effects of wartime trauma. It’s a difficult balancing act.

The cast of The Great Escaper

In addition to Caine, Jackson, Standing, and Vitalis, Victor Oshin is Scott, a young veteran of Afghanistan that Bernie befriends; while Will Fletcher and Laura Marcus play the younger Bernard and Irene in flashback sequences.

The Great Escaper trailer

Why we’re excited about The Great Escaper

Reviews have been universally warm, with praise going to the central performances but points knocked off for the odd descent into sentimentality. Still, with Caine finally retiring (although he’s been known to change his mind) and Jackson sadly passing away at the age of 87 before the film’s release, The Great Escaper can’t help but attract at least a touch of melancholy. Having said that, we’re incredibly lucky to have this final offering from two of the most important actors in the history of British cinema, so that makes this one a must see.