‘The Water Man’ review: David Oyelowo’s directorial debut is a sensitive family drama

Filmed with an eye for rich production values and spectacular natural vistas, “The Water Man”

Filmed with an eye for rich production values and spectacular natural vistas, “The Water Man” is that rare family film that isn’t a nonstop CGI stunt or lowest-denominator exercise in cheap laughs. Rather, it’s grounded in recognizable, if admittedly unwelcome, realities of real life, even when it indulges in occasional flights of fancy (the pencil-drawing animations that bring Gunner’s work to life are particularly arresting). Oyelowo brings a thoughtful sensibility and thoroughgoing good taste to the kind of movie Hollywood doesn’t produce anymore but shouldn’t be so quick to discard. There are as many absorbing, affecting family films to be made as there are families to enjoy them.