A perfect balance of drama and humour, this tender film unites some of Australia’s finest actors in a story about life and love. Director Jeremy Sims has worked on the project for 13 years, since its inception as a play at the Sydney Opera House, but has now realised his dream of bringing it to the screen.
Rex (Michael Caton), a Broken Hill cab driver, has spent his life avoiding getting close to people. Even his best friend and occasional lover Polly (Ningali Lawford-Wolf), who lives across the road, is kept at distance.
One day, he discovers he is dying. He doesn’t want to be forced to rely on anyone, least of all Polly, so he decides to leave his home and drive alone the 3000kms across the continent to Darwin, where the recently passed euthanasia laws lead him to believe he can be in control of his own death. But on this epic journey he meets people who force him to re-evaluate his life.
He begins to realise that a life not shared is a life not lived. Sadly it seems wisdom has come too late, until Polly finally gives Rex the courage to act. Against all the odds, in one final heroic act of pure will, he drives his cab back through time and distance to Broken Hill, where he will share what he has left of his life with the one he loves.
With pitch perfect performances from the leads and a supporting cast that includes Mark Coles Smith, Emma Hamilton and Jacki Weaver, Last Cab to Darwin will draw both tears and laughter.
“This film has been a long time in the making. I know everyone says this but this one truly has… Reg Cribb and I drove to Broken Hill and then on to Darwin researching the story back in 2001, so that’s 13 years,” says Director, co-writer and producer Jeremy Sims.
“Although we told a version of the story on stage a few times – firstly at the Sydney Opera House and secondly on a long national tour – there was always a belief that the story of Rex would find its natural home on the big screen.”
“The great thing about the film is that we found a much more personalised story rather to make it too broad in its scope, we brought it back to Rex’s story. The film had a big beautiful visual canvas but the personal narrative of it really is Rex’s story.
In the film, the visual vista of Australia still reflects Rex’s inner state as he goes along, but it becomes much more of an obstacle for him and you feel that much more in the film. The elements he encounters along the road, they really stand in the way of him achieving his objectives, but also feeding into his understanding of who he is”.
Last Cab to Darwin is screening nationally. For more information, visit: www.lastcab.com.au for details.
Image: Mark Coles Smith and Micahel Caton in Last Cab to Darwin – photo by Wendy McDougall