Last Cab to Darwin Movie Info:
Last Cab to Darwin is a 2015 Australian comedy-drama film directed and produced by Jeremy Sims and based on the 2003 play of the same name by Reg Cribb. Michael Caton and Jacki Weaver have starring roles.
Initial release: June 6, 2015
Director: Jeremy Sims
Running time: 2h 3m
Music composed by: Ed Kuepper
Screenplay: Jeremy Sims, Reg Cribb
Michael Caton is best known for playing straight-shooting sweetheart Darryl Kerrigan in 1997’s The Castle, a role that shot him to the pool-room of Australian popular culture. These days Caton’s face naturally displays pathos in a way it didn’t back in the 90s: his thinned-out grey hair, baggy eyes and drooping skin a perfect canvas for the hangdog look writer-director Jeremy Sims must have been going for in Last Cab to Darwin, a road movie about a terminally ill taxi driver on a mission to euthanise himself.
A cabbie who has spent his entire life in Broken Hill, Rex (Caton) complains to his neighbour and lover Polly (a wonderful Ningali Lawford-Wolf) that he can’t keep his food down. The scene prior to that we observe him alone at home dancing to vinyl records while drinking Coopers and munching on a spam sandwich.
A trip to the hospital reveals it’s not the yeast and faux-meat in Rex’s diet that’s causing problems, per se, but stomach cancer. The gruff codger is told he has only a few months of painful living left; he responds with a line about how he doesn’t want no hospitals and will keep driving his taxi until the day he dies.
And this is his mission: to die. A euthanasia advocate, Dr Farmer (Jacki Weaver, as a gentler take on Philip Nitschke) has developed a new machine that administers death literally at the press of a button. Rex says goodbye to Polly and the local barflies and takes to the road, picking up a couple of randoms on the way.
There’s Tilly (Mark Coles Smith), a spritely but unstable Indigenous man with hopes of pursuing a career in the AFL and Julie (Emma Hamilton), an English backpacker and qualified nurse who quits her job at a remote pub after coming to the aid of a sick – and getting sicker – Rex.