From the memoir written by Simon Carr and directed by Scott Hicks, this gorgeously filmed (Greig Fraser) movie begins with Joe Warr (Clive Owen) as a happily married husband and loving father to their young son, Artie (Nicholas McAnulty). The family resides in a colorfully shown Australia while he works as an important sports writer. Warr and his wife, Katie (Laura Fraser), are out during one evening and she suddenly drops to the floor without warning. She is terminally ill. A brokenhearted Warr tenderly takes care of Katie along with his son. Clive Owen provides a personally poignant and stirring portrayal of a convincingly take-action husband and father which appears almost effortless.
Their son Artie is a totally free-spirited little boy. He remains aloof to the situation with his mother as she passes away quickly and Warr is left to care for his son, job, home, and to manage everything that he never did before. His mother-in-law, "Nana", is in their home on and off trying to guide Joe in the ways of raising his precocious little boy, who states while in his class at school that "cat food looks better than it tastes". Warr sees things differently while learning to understand all that is involved in the grieving process of his son; anger, outbursts, laughter, indifference, and the closeness that Artie needs.
We quickly understand that Joe was married before and has another son, Harry (George MacKay). He has been at a highbrow prep school and comes to visit his father, who he barely knows and meet his little brother for the first time. The two boys are vastly different coming from two different worlds. Harry first appears disenfranchised with being a part of this new-found threesome until his father is able to smooth over the familial culture shock. He slowly begins enjoying the freedom of finally belonging to his father and Artie in a place that does not carry such staunch rules of decorum. It is lovely to see Harry be the child he really is and slowly grow to love his father and his younger brother. He wants to move there and live with them and Warr agrees. He fiercely loves his two boys in the course of the relationships slowly developing between the three of them.
Everything with this movie is not all sunshine, actually quite the opposite. Warr is forced, by the household situation, to quickly learn how to adapt to being an all around father. He educates himself about caring for Harry while smoothing over years of absence from his life and for Artie as he best sees fit then begins to enjoy his two sons in a whole new light. The movie studies the relationship of parent and child from the father's point of view. It also teaches just how wonderful and difficult a role this is for Joe Warr and single fathers in general while lifting this film to great heights and to a happily refreshing experience.