When Rex, a Broken Hill cab driver, is told he doesn't have long to live, he sets out on an epic journey to Darwin in a bid to die on his own terms.When Rex, a Broken Hill cab driver, is told he doesn't have long to live, he sets out on an epic journey to Darwin in a bid to die on his own terms.When Rex, a Broken Hill cab driver, is told he doesn't have long to live, he sets out on an epic journey to Darwin in a bid to die on his own terms.
Generally I'm not a fan of Australian films but this one is great. Starting with the cast. Michael Caton was excellent and had surprising depths in his performance that I never expected him to have. The only weak link in the cast is Jackie Weaver, despite having "Academy Award Nominee" forever attached to her name now. Even though many of the support cast were not well known actors, only Weaver's acting was poor. She looked like "I'm acting this" with nearly every line she delivered. The young guy who played Tilly was fantastic - and surprisingly convincing in his one emotionally vulnerable scene.
Secondly, the script. I heard one radio reviewer say that the dialogue by 'blackfellas' in movies is usually very obviously written by white writers, and rarely rings 'true'. Similarly, writers who want to shoehorn Australian colloquialisms into a movie or stage play often do it in a very clumsy way. But in Last Cab to Darwin, the dialogue does ring true and the writers are to be congratulated.
Next, the themes. This is not a 90 minute 'quickie' of a movie. It has real depth, not just on the issue of euthanasia, but also on black/white prejudices in country Australia, and the movie doesn't skirt around indigenous social problems either.
Then there's the scenery. Spectacular. And I bet the places featured along Rex's road trip enjoy an upturn in visitor numbers in the next year or so as a result of this film.
Finally there's the humour. It is quintessentially Australian dry humour and it's quick and subtle and sprinkled throughout. The best line is the one about the dog's name. Still making me chuckle even now - as much as anything because you didn't see it coming at the time and Michael Caton's delivery was perfect.
As Molly Meldrum would say: do yourself a favour and go and see it.
- Aug 16, 2015