Director: Jeremy Sims
Cast: Michael Caton, Ningali Lawford, Mark Coles Smith
Runtime: 123 minutes
Showtime: April 23rd 2:20 PM
Australian Film Institute: Best Lead Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay; Film Critics of
Australia Awards: Best Actor (Michael Caton), Best Supporting Actor (Mark Coles Smith)
“Great performances … elevate the film from merely likable to poignantly satisfying.” – Bruce Demara, Toronto Star
Screenwriter Reg Cribb and writer-director Jeremy Sims have adapted Last Cab to Darwin from Cribb’s stage play. It’s an effective pictorial mood-setter, with blood-red desert sunsets and golden-hour river swims, showcasing a career-high performance from Michael Caton.
Caton plays taxi-driving Reg, who has never left the dried-up mining town of Broken Hill, in New South Wales, nor has he ever started a family. So there’s no one to consult when his stomach cancer is found too late to save him. Sure, there’s his neighbour Polly (Rabbit-Proof Fence’s Ningali Lawford-Wolf), an Aboriginal woman he sometimes shares a bed with, although he keeps this a secret from his mates at the local pub.
When Reg hears about a doctor up north who’s fighting for the rights of sick people to die with dignity, he cleans up his cab and heads for Darwin. Along the way, he hooks up with a handsome young, mixed-race drifter called Tilley (movie-stealing Mark Coles Smith) who, despite being quite trouble-prone himself, helps Reg navigate the indigenous reaches of central Australia. How handy to run into a beautiful English nurse (The Tudors’ Emma Hamilton) before hitting Darwin.
Earthy, engaging performances and its sense of humanity carry Last Cab to Darwin. The cab ride is worth the fare. That acoustic-guitar score is mighty nice, too.
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