Page protected with pending changes level 1

The Water Diviner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Water Diviner
The Water Diviner poster.jpg
Teaser poster
Directed by Russell Crowe
Produced by
  • Troy Lum
  • Andrew Mason
  • Keith Rodger
Written by
Music by David Hirschfelder
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Edited by Matt Villa
  • Fear of God Films
  • Hopscotch Features
  • Seven Network
  • RatPac Entertainment
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 26 December 2014 (2014-12-26) (Australia/Turkey)
  • 24 April 2015 (2015-04-24) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
  • Australia
  • Turkey
  • United States
  • English
  • Turkish
Budget $22.5 million[2]
Box office $15.5 million[2]

The Water Diviner is a 2014 Australian historical fictional war drama film directed by and starring Russell Crowe in his directorial debut. The screenplay was written by Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight. The film is loosely based on the book of the same name, written by Andrew Anastasios and Dr Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios.

The film co-stars Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Cem Yılmaz, Yılmaz Erdoğan, and Jacqueline McKenzie. The Water Diviner had its world premiere at the State Theatre in Sydney, Australia on 2 December 2014.[3] It opened in Australian and New Zealand cinemas on 26 December 2014. The film had a limited release in the United States on 24 April 2015.

The Water Diviner features a collaboration between Russell Crowe and Jacqueline McKenzie, reuniting them for the first time since 1992's Romper Stomper. It was the final film from Academy Award winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, who died in April 2015, a week after the film's U.S. release.


The film begins in 1919, just after World War I has ended, and centers around Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe), an Australian farmer and water diviner. His three sons Arthur (Ryan Corr), Edward (James Fraser), and Henry (Ben O'Toole) served with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at the Battle of Gallipoli four years previously and are presumed dead. After his wife Eliza commits suicide out of grief, Joshua resolves to bring his sons' bodies home and bury them with their mother.

Joshua travels to Turkey and stays in a hotel in Istanbul run by war-widowed Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), but is unable to travel to Gallipoli by road. Learning the purpose of his journey, Ayshe tells him to bribe a local fisherman to travel to Gallipoli by boat. When he arrives, Joshua learns that ANZACs are engaged in a mass burial detail and all civilians are banned. Major Hasan (Yılmaz Erdoğan), a Turkish officer assisting the ANZACs, persuades the ANZAC captain Lt-Col Cyril Hughes (Jai Courtney) to prioritize helping Joshua with his search. Joshua sees in his dreams that Arthur survives the battle. Hasan recognizes Joshua's surname and tells him that Arthur may have been taken prisoner.

Joshua returns to Istanbul, but fails to find out which prison camp Arthur was transferred to. He returns to Ayshe's hotel and learns that she is being pressured to marry her brother-in-law, Omer. Their argument becomes heated and Omer retreats when Joshua intervenes. Ayshe lashes out, blaming Joshua for making things worse and tells him to leave. As Joshua leaves the hotel, Omer and a few of his friends gang up on him, only to be stopped by Hasan's subordinate, Sergeant Jemal (Cem Yılmaz). Jemal takes Joshua to Hasan, who explains that the Greeks have invaded and they are going to defend their country as the British are not intervening. Joshua decides to travel with Hasan's group, who will pass through the region where his son might be. As Joshua returns to the hotel to retrieve his belongins, Ayshe apologizes for her earlier words.

Greek soldiers attack the train and only Jemal, Hasan and Joshua survive. Joshua saves Hasan as a Greek officer prepares to execute him. They flee to a town where they spot a windmill, which Joshua saw in his recurring dream. There he finds Arthur alive but traumatized. Arthur reveals that at the end of the battle, Edward was still alive but badly wounded. He pleaded with Arthur to end his suffering, and Arthur reluctantly complied. Blaming himself for his brother's deaths, Arthur felt he could never return to his family.

Greek soldiers attack the town, and the two men escape through the mountains. Arthur refuses to follow his father, but relents when Joshua says that without his wife and sons, he has nowhere else to go. They successfully evade the Greek army and return to Ayshe's hotel. The film ends with Joshua drinking a cup of coffee made by Ayshe which indicates that she has fallen in love with him.



On 18 June 2013, it was announced that Crowe had signed to make his directorial debut with an historical drama film The Water Diviner from a screenplay written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios. He would also star in the film.[7] Producers would be Troy Lum, Andrew Mason and Keith Rodger and it was set to be shot in Australia and Turkey.[4] On 25 March 2014, it was announced that Seven West Media and Seven Group Holdings would co-finance the film.[8] On 7 November 2014, Warner Bros. acquired the US rights to the film.[9]


Crowe portrays Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer. Olga Kurylenko was added to the cast on 18 October 2013 to co-star with Crowe.[5] On 24 October, Jai Courtney was announced as having signed to star in The Water Diviner and another historical film, Unbroken. Courtney first filmed Unbroken and then moved to The Water Diviner, playing a soldier, Lt. Col. Cecil Hilton.[6] Later, Turkish actors Cem Yılmaz and Yılmaz Erdoğan were also added to the cast, along with some Australian actors: Ryan Corr, Daniel Wyllie, Damon Herriman, Deniz Akdeniz, Steve Bastoni and Jacqueline McKenzie.[10]


Principal photography began on 2 December 2013 in Australia.[10]


On 1 February 2014, the first official still from the film was revealed.[11] On 28 April, the first footage from the film in a 7-minute featurette, narrated by Crowe, was revealed.[12] The first official trailer for the film was released on 30 September.[13]


The film was released in Australia, New Zealand and Turkey on 26 December 2014, while it was released in Thailand on 15 January 2015. The film was initially to be released in the UK on 23 January 2015 but was moved to 3 April.[14] The film was released in IMAX, and general, theaters by Warner Bros. in the United States on 24 April 2015.[9][15] Entertainment One and Universal Studios jointly released the film in Australia, with Universal solely releasing the film in Europe and Canada.[8]

The film made its free-to-air television premiere on the Seven Network in Australia on 20 April 2015, a mere four months after its theatrical release in Australia. Seven is an investor in the film.[16]


Critical response[edit]

The Water Diviner has received mixed to positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 62%, based on 126 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus reads, "The Water Diviner finds Russell Crowe on somewhat uncertain footing as a director, but he's rescued by a strong performance from himself in the leading role."[17] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 50 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[18]

Calls for a protest and boycott of the movie on social media resulted in the Facebook page "Protest and Boycott the Water Diviner" which has over 16,000 fans.[19] Descendants of victims of the Greco-Turk exchanges, Armenian Genocide and Assyrian Genocide were incensed by the portrayal of the Turks in the movie as victims, at the same time that Turks were committing atrocities on their minorities. The omission and distortion of historical facts resulted in a sustained protest letter campaign which claimed that the film " a distortion of history that only serves to appease Turkey and its continued agenda of genocide denial." [20] The protest letter and other protests of the film were covered in a Fairfax Media report.[21]

Anthony McAdam of The Spectator wrote: "Leaving aside aesthetic considerations, the fact is the film’s lack of any historical context is breathtaking." McAdam notes that there is one "glaring omission" in the film, that being the lack of any mention whatsoever of the Armenian Genocide.[22] Andrew O'Hehir of the Salon describes the film as "Russell Crowe's Disgraceful Turkish Fantasy". O'Hehir questions why Crowe and Warner Bros. released the film in the US on 24 April, precisely the same day that Armenians commemorate the Armenian Genocide and compares it to releasing a film which ignores the Jewish Holocaust and is released on Yom HaShoah.[23]

Box office[edit]

As of June 2015, The Water Diviner has grossed $15.5 million worldwide.[2] On 5 January 2015 it was named the highest grossing Australian-produced film of 2014, with a gross of $12,294,472.[24][25] However, in the UK this film was stopped being screened in many cinemas after just one week of being released.

The film was received very favorably in Turkey at its debut and subsequent release. To date, the film has taken almost 14.3 million Turkish lira ($5.7 million), a handy addition to the $12.3 million it has taken in Australia.".[26]


Award Category Subject Result
AACTA Awards
Best Film1 Andrew Mason Won
Troy Lum Won
Keith Rodger Won
Best Original Screenplay Andrew Anastasios Nominated
Andrew Knight Nominated
Best Actor Russell Crowe Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Yılmaz Erdoğan Won
Best Supporting Actress Jacqueline McKenzie Nominated
Best Editing Matt Villa Nominated
Best Production Design Christopher Kennedy Nominated
Best Costume Design Tess Schofield Won
Best Visual Effects David Booth Nominated
Prue Fletcher Nominated
Marc Varisco Nominated
Adam Paschke Nominated
AWGIE Award Best Writing in a Feature Film - Original Andrew Anastasios Won
Andrew Knight Won
FCCA Awards Best Film Andrew Mason Nominated
Troy Lum Nominated
Keith Rodger Nominated
Best Director Russell Crowe Nominated
Best Actor Won
Best Supporting Actor Yilmaz Erdogan Won
Best Supporting Actress Jacqueline McKenzie Won
Best Cinematography Andrew Lesnie Nominated
Best Editing Matt Villa Nominated
Best Music Score David Hirschfelder Won
Best Production Design Christopher Kennedy Nominated

1 Shared award with The Babadook


  1. ^ "THE WATER DIVINER (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Water Diviner (2015) - Summary". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Sams, Christine (2 December 2014). "The Water Diviner premiered in Sydney with Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney and Megan Gale". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Fleming, Mike (18 June 2013). "Russell Crowe Sets ‘The Water Diviner’ For Directing Debut". Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b McNary, Dave (18 October 2013). "Olga Kurylenko Joins Russell Crowe In ‘Water Diviner’". Variety. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Fleming, Mike (24 October 2013). "Jai Courtney Tapped For Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’, Russell Crowe’s ‘Water Diviner’". Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Anderton, Ethan (18 June 2013). "Russell Crowe Plans Directorial Debut in Period Drama 'Water Diviner'". Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Frater, Patrick (25 March 2014). "Seven Finds Russell Crowe’s ‘Water Diviner’". Variety. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Kit, Borys (7 November 2014). "Warner Bros. Picks Up Russell Crowe's Historical Drama 'Water Diviner'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Russell Crowe to start shooting Gallipoli film The Water Diviner in Sydney". 22 November 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Barraclough, Leo (1 February 2014). "First Image: Russell Crowe’s Helming Debut ‘The Water Diviner’". Variety. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Anderton, Ethan (28 April 2014). "Footage from Russell Crowe's 'The Water Diviner' in First Featurette". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Anderton, Ethan (30 September 2014). "Russell Crowe's Directorial Debut 'The Water Diviner' Aussie Trailer". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Russell Crowe is Looking for his Sons in The Water Diviner". Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  15. ^ Bowles, Scott (20 March 2015). "Russell Crowe’s ‘The Water Diviner’ Also Will Screen In Imax – Update". Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Knox, David (13 April 2015). "Water Diviner world TV premiere on Seven". TV Tonight. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "The Water Diviner". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "The Water Diviner". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Protest & Boycott "The Water Diviner" a movie by Russell Crowe". Facebook. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "The Water Diviner Protest". The Greek Genocide Resource Center. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner faces deluge of protest ahead of US opening". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "Crowe’s water diviner is out of his depth". The Spectator. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "What Armenian genocide? "The Water Diviner," Russell Crowe’s disgraceful Turkish fantasy". Salon. Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' is Top Australian Film of 2014". Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). Reuters. 6 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "The Water Diviner (2015) - Foreign". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  26. ^ Andrew Anastasios (6 December 2014). "The water Diviner". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 

External links[edit]