Glendyn Ivin, the director of the Australian movie, Last Ride, has gifted us with one of the best movies I have seen this year.
Based on the award winning novel by Denise Young, Last Ride is a slow, gentle, but deeply moving journey of a father and son across 5,000 kilometres of rough and remote Australian Outback country.
Kev (Hugo Weaving) bundles his son, Chook (Tom Russell) into the car in the middle of the night and flees into the darkness as they run from the law. Chook knows something is not right but his Dad is not talking. As they travel, father and son are forced to deal with their troubled relationship as they meet the challenges of survival. As the story develops we gradually begin to understand what has happened and share in the complex development of the relationship between the two.
Last Ride is a truly superb movie. The story is deeply engaging with depth of character development. Weaving is superb in what I would consider as one of his best performances. Tom Russell, who plays the 12-year-old Chook, gives us a nuanced, understated character who is entirely believable. And the Australian Outback landscape reflects the beauty and ugliness of the narrative itself.
Last Ride explores so many themes — father/son relationships, love between children and flawed parents, prejudice (in terms of what we think of the father), childhood abuse, and self-revelation.
Last Ride is in limited release in Australia at the moment. If it hasn't been released in your location make sure you put it on your list of must-see movies when it arrives.