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Drama - Family

The Last Bus (2021)

Duration1h 26m
RatingsSpain: Yet to be released nearly everywhere 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorGillies MacKinnon
Writers/ScriptJoe Ainsworth
StarringTimothy Spall, Phyllis Logan and a load of British actors you will recognise but be unable to name.
RatingsIMDb:7.6 by 22 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 100% by 2 reviewers .

Elevator Pitch: An old man chooses to make a journey from his home in John O’Groats, Britain’s most northerly town, to Land’s End in Cornwall, the most southerly point in the country. He is ill and it seems that his wife has died, but he presses on with a small suitcase, having a number of adventures on the way. When a drunken man is abusing a young woman in a burqa he comes to her aide and is filmed by others on the bus, collectively forcing the man to get off. Unbeknown to him his fame spreads. Over the duration of the film we see in flashback why he and his wife have travelled from the south to John O’Groats and finally why he has made his way back again.

Content: No sex or nudity, but a bit of drinking and some drunkenness. National Treasure Timothy Spall as Tom, stumbles from one misfortune to another. He is rescued by a couple in Glasgow after falling asleep on the bus, he is picked up in the middle of nowhere by a group of Ukrainians and made to participate in their birthday celebrations.  Gradually the bus drivers seem to be getting to know him and despite his Scottish bus pass, he travels without paying. In flashback we see him and his wife at points in their early life.

A View: Saw this yesterday at a cinema in Madrid. It is the first time I have seen a film which has not been released in UK, so an early review. The Scottish countryside features, or at least bits of the Highlands. You’d be surprised how flat northern Scotland is. Tom walks more and more slowly so you start urging him on, but whether this is the drama or because you want to get the pain over I am not certain. Fortunately it is a short film. It could be described as a heart-warming tale, or a bit schmaltzy. It is certainly full of clichés, but there is only so much you can do with an old man and a bus. 

Additional Info: Tom ends up at what they say is “Lands End”, but as far as I know it is a cliff, not a folksy fishing harbour.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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