Business mixed with pleasure: a breakneck project to paint several miles' worth of power-line pylons across the bleak Yorkshire landscape, and a romance between the foreman of the crew and a peregrinating, rock-climbing Aussie lass who hires on for pocket money. The camaraderie and conflict among the laborers (a strained silence around the campfire is broken with "What ever happened to Bachman-Turner Overdrive?") resurrect something of the spirit of Warner Brothers working-man films of old. But the visual possibilities -- figures arranged within a framework of metal crossbars at vertiginous heights -- are barely hinted at in Sam Miller's restless, jittery, jumpy direction. Pete Postlethwaite and Rachel Griffiths are well fit to play ordinary people, all the way down to their barest essentials; and the final aerial shot of the crew's surprise gift to the lovers, a pink-painted pylon in a regiment of gray, is unexpectedly touching, an enduring monument to an impermanent relationship. Unexpectedly, because the movie up until the last instant hadn't seemed to amount to much. (1999) — Duncan Shepherd
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