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Last Cab To Darwin

by Dale Reynolds
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Jun 10, 2016
'Last Cab to Darwin'
'Last Cab to Darwin'  

What a superior film is this Australian import, "Last Cab To Darwin," co-written by Reg Cribb from his 2003 play, which he based on a true story, co-authored by director Jeremy Sims.

It's about a cab driver in a tiny community of Broken Hill, Western Australia. Rex (Michael Caton) is in his late 60s. He's dying of stomach cancer, and he needs to make his first visit to Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory, known for its laid-back attitudes towards human behavior.

He leaves behind the one woman who loves him, an Aboriginal, Polly (Ningali Lawford-Wolf), and commences on a 3,000 km road trip. Along the way he meets an inventive fellow: Part Aboriginal, part Anglo, Tilly (Mark Coles Smith) is a handsome young charmer in desperate need of self-controlled maturity. Rex also meets a beautiful English nurse, Julie (Emma Hamilton), who is masquerading as a bartender.

The main reason for Rex's long trip is the possibility that the legislators up North may very well bring in doctor-assisted euthanasia, heralded by a middle-aged female doctor, Dr. Farmer (Jacki Weaver) who has a popular radio call-in show.

The main joy in this sad -- but uplifting -- saga is in how director Jeremy Sims captures the contradictory moods in today's Australia: Kindness, racism, alcoholism and how folk survive all of the above. Caton is a well-known actor, as is Weaver; soon enough, one hopes, Smith and Hamilton will also become better known.

The dry outback blending into the tropical north is well captured by Steve Arnold, and the film has been well edited by Marcus D'Arcy. While there are no lack of films dealing with the contradictions in society and the culture, this one manages to illustrate without hitting us over the head.

All in all, this is a joy to watch. Strong performances illustrate the universal adage that before you end your life, you have to live it. Here, Rex is allowed to evolve his feelings about life before it does end, in a well-balanced and nicely-nuanced story.

Last Cab to Darwin

A terminally ill cabdriver (Michael Caton) picks up an indigenous drifter (Mark Coles Smith) and a backpacker (Emma Hamilton) while traveling through the Australian Outback to get euthanized.


Runtime :: 123 mins
Release Date :: Jun 10, 2016
Language :: Silent
Country :: Australia


Rex :: Michael Caton
Polly :: Ningali Lawford-Wolf
Tilly :: Mark Smith
Julie :: Emma Hamilton
Dr. Farmer :: Jacki Weaver
Dougie :: David Field
Simmo :: John Howard
Col :: Alan Dukes
Sonya :: Leah Purcell


Director :: Jeremy Sims
Screenwriter :: Reg Cribb
Screenwriter :: Jeremy Sims
Producer :: Greg Duffy
Producer :: Lisa Duff
Producer :: Jeremy Sims
Executive Producer :: Ned Lander
Executive Producer :: Andrew Myer
Executive Producer :: Edward Simpson
Executive Producer :: Mark Nelson
Executive Producer :: Michael Burton
Executive Producer :: Ian Darling
Executive Producer :: Jon Adgemis
Executive Producer :: Prue MacLeod
Executive Producer :: Chris Cuffe
Executive Producer :: Natasha Cuffe
Cinematographer :: Steve Arnold
Original Music :: Ed Kuepper
Production Design :: Clayton Jauncey
Art Director :: Andrew Raymond
Art Director :: Loretta Cosgrove
Set Decoration :: Chris Tomkins
Costume Designer :: Jane Johnston
Casting :: Kirsty McGregor


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