peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2021 10 26 LastCabToDarwin

Last Cab to Darwin

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Another adaptation for the screen of a Reg Cribb play by Jeremy Sims, who also directed and produced. Terminal Broken Hill taxi driver Michael Caton spends a bit too much time touristing in the N.T. on his road to destiny — an assisted death in Darwin. His neighbour and awkward love interest Ningali Lawford (the vocalist on Cloudless and sounding great here) is fine, especially when her mob comes to visit. More of that please. Emma Hamilton as an English nurse, slumming it as a bar wench at the ostentatiously ocker Daly Waters Pub, claims he's a hero for the grey nomads. Being the shallowly drawn character she is, a fortuitous caring arrangement eventuates. Mark Coles Smith provides all the electricity as a ne'er-do-well young Aboriginal bloke with a family out of Oodnadatta, also along for the ride. Ladies and football coaches find him irresistible. Jacki Weaver is a neutered and slightly histrionic Dr Philip Nitschke. Also John Howard, David Field, Leah Purcell. The ending (spoiler) is disappointing as it dodges this contentious issue, leaving Caton and Lawford dangling; Wikipedia says that what actually happened to the bloke this movie drew inspiration from is more depressing.

Throughout I wondered what Andrew Denton thought about it all. (He was part of an excellent panel discussion on the topic back in April 2021.) So much has changed since this movie was made — as I understand it, NSW is the only state yet to have passed a voluntary assisted dying law. The territories are apparently still stymied by the "Andrews" law.

Paul Byrnes. Luke Buckmaster. I was sad to hear that Lawford died in 2019, in Edinburgh of all places.