LAST CAB TO DARWIN | REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

We originally reviewed LAST CAB TO DARWIN as part of the back in early June, but lucky lucky everyone, it is finally coming to cinemas on August 6th (next Thursday) for a nice little season. The good folks at Icon Movies have generously thrown us 5x double passes to giveaway so if you wanna see it, wanna win it, then read Kernel Emma’s review below and then find out how. This one is a giant AFI net, you will most definitely like it and not because it’s an Australian movie, because it’s an awesome movie!!

ORIGINAL REVIEW FROM JUNE 2015

LAST CAB TO DARWIN marks our first review off the rank for the 2015 Sydney Film Festival. While playing at the festival it will also be getting a cinema release on August 6th from the peeps at Icon Movies. The movie has its own website HERE. No idea on running time but it is rated M. It stars , the very gorgeous (BENEATH HILL 60), the always superb and . Kernel Emma got in first with SFF reviews so enjoy her fine review. All the best……….JK.

 

LAST CAB TO DARWIN MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
LAST CAB TO DARWIN | SALTY POPCORN | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY EMMA BISHOP

LAST CAB TO DARWIN is based on the true story of one taxi driver’s journey across Australia motivated by the desire to end his life on his own terms. Riddled with stomach and given only months to live, Rex (Michael Caton) embarks on a lengthy from Broken Hill to Darwin where the relationships he develops along the way become instrumental in changing his life. Led by highly distinguished Michael Caton and starring some fantastic local talent including Jacki Weaver and Mark Coles Smith, our eyes open up alongside Rex’s as we experience the beauty, and at times, challenging landscape of 1990’s Australia. Director perfects his third directorial outing with the flawless balance of humour, respect and pure emotion, resulting in a beautiful take on what is generally considered a taboo and thus far relatively un-touched subject.

 

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LAST CAB TO DARWIN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | POLLY (NINGALI LAWFORD) AND REX (MICHAEL CATON)

 

Rex struggles to connect with his friends; he has no family and can barely acknowledge the relationship he has with neighbour, and sometimes lover, Polly. Upon learning of his impending fate, the decision to leave is simple and without much thought Rex packs up his life and drives off into the distance in his taxi cab. Along his journey to Darwin, Rex picks up Tilly (Mark Coles Smith) and English bartender Julie (Emma Hamilton) and the trio strike up an unlikely friendship. Each of these characters is intimately developed as audiences learn the importance these connections become for an initially dejected Rex. Each of the characters experience an emotional realization of their own along the road to Darwin, finding that the best things in life often stem as a result of the worst. The struggle is written all over Rex’s face from the film’s opening scene and Caton delivers a truly affecting and genuine performance. Despite his crippling illness, it is clear Rex’s problems are more closely aligned with loneliness and a lack of connection. As a result Rex realizes just how important his neighbour Polly is and the two share some of the most heartbreaking dialogue of the entire film. Polly is played by Aboriginal actress Ningali-Lawford-Wolf who is feisty as anything and pretty damn hilarious. It is clear the two are very much in love; Rex is just too stubborn to admit it.

 

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LAST CAB TO DARWIN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | TILLY (MARK COLES SMITH), JULIE (EMMA HAMILTON), DR FARMER (JACKI WEAVER) AND REX (MICHAEL CATON) IN THE SURGERY

 

Shot in the beautiful , LAST CAB TO DARWIN is as much about exploring culture and experience as it is about the close proximity of life and death. With a strong Aboriginal community surrounding Rex’s journey, audiences experience tradition, alongside the outback’s various colourful personalities. Regardless of their cultural background, every person Rex meets along the way is united by their desire for beer and their dry, gritty, often offensive sense of humour. It is in these moments that the film shines which is pretty incredible given the serious and unfortunate circumstances surrounding Rex’s journey. In all of its grittiness, the local pub serves as an important location, where honest and important conversation is exchanged. Back home in Broken Hills, Rex’s best mates Simmo (John Howard), Col (Alan Dukes) and Dougie (David Field) embody all that it is to be an Australian bloke, there airs a certain nostalgia in their hard line senses of humour and simple living, described by Simms as the “death of Old Australia”.

 

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LAST CAB TO DARWIN | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | REX (MICHAEL CATON) AND TILLY (MARK COLES SMITH)

 

Similarly beautiful in LAST CAB TO DARWIN is the cinematography, where the scenic green landscape is just incredible and speaks just as loudly as the films central characters themselves. The filmmakers capture every sunset and local town with such respect and intimacy, destroying any fear audiences may have of a low-budget feel. The camera is for the most part stagnant and the landscape is left to do the talking. Sims’ experience working on his first film LAST TRAIN TO FREO of a similar cinematic style proves fruitful in enhancing the stark yet inherently striking outback landscape. The film is almost devoid of any American roadtrip clichés and feels both aesthetically and characteristically stripped back, in all of the right ways possible. Where stripped back, there is humour and the ability to make light of the serious situation, this is an important cultural difference and one which is worthy of noting.

LAST CAB TO DARWIN is absolutely a must see and is anything but an over-dramatized sob story. The film is surprisingly light and funny and yet at its most beautiful moments really very sad. The best part is absolutely the screen-play and the strong cast who give their all. Michael Caton is the star and his performance is rich, multi-layered and full of emotion. I really hope audiences enjoy this film as much as I did, I haven’t seen an as good since CHARLIE’S COUNTRY and there is definitely a gap in the market for good local cinema!

 

KERNEL EMMA’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

JK’S POP SCORE:

4 and a Half Pops

 

With special thanks to ICON MOVIES to win one of the 5X double passes to THE LAST CAB TO DARWIN you need to either like and share/ retweet this post on Facebook/Twitter/ Google+/ Pinterest/ LinkedIn/ Flipboard or Instagram (all the links to follow us are on the top right of homepage), you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer/s to the following questions:

What is your favourite ROAD TRIP movie and why? I am going with THELMA AND LOUISE or SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT – both sooooooooo good 🙂

If you do not have social media then get with the times – you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent on or after Monday August 3rd! Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.

 

 

Kernel Emma is documentary mad and also loves foreign and arthouse films ! She is Salty’s honorary NooooZealanderrrr writer, but she hides out in Sydney saying sex, fush and chups to everyone’s amusement.