Director: Gillies MacKinnon
Writer: Joe Ainsworth (Screenplay)
Starring: Timothy Spall, Phyllis Logan, Grace Calder, Celyn Jones, Brian Pettifer, Colin McCredie, Garry Sweeney
Plot: An old man crosses the country just using local buses.
Tagline – Returning to his past, he found his future
Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Last Bus starts when recently widowed Tom harper (Spall) looks to travel from his home in the most Northly point John O’Groats to his hometown of the most Southerly point, Land’s End, using his free bus pass.
As Tom starts his journey, he will find himself stumbling into different people, learning about their lives, giving them a moment of sunshine, learning that other people are still enjoying the little things in life, just like he once did with Mary (Logan).
Thoughts on The Last Bus
Characters & Performances – Tom Harper is a widowed man living in the northern most point of Scotland, he wants to keep a promise to his late wife Mary, this promise will see him taking the trip from the northern most point in the UK to the Southern most point. An elderly man travelling alone, where he gets to see the best and the worst of different members of the public, showing his good-nature hoping to pass on the message to the next generations through minor interactions. Timothy Spall gives the best performance of his career here, it is a performance that should be in the award conversation by the end of the year. Mary is the late wife, that we see the memories the two shared together, from the good and the bad along the way. When it comes to other characters, they are usually people that Tom interacts with along the way, each one will bring him a memory, while he passes on a moment of life advice to them.
Story – The story here follows an elderly man that looks to travel from the Northern most point of the UK to the Southern most point at Land’s End, using only the local buses and his bus pass. This is a story about the journey, the memories and the life lessons he can pass on along the way. The journey could easily compared to ‘Up’ without the distance, with the widowed man wanting to honour his wife’s last wish, after a lifetime of missed opportunities. The small interactions between Tom and the strangers seems like something we could see happen in everyday life, which is a joy to see, showing us how these little messages could help anyone in everyday life.
Themes – The Last Bus is a drama showing one man doing a final journey with his wife to honour his wife, while the journey itself is incredible, the major and only flaw in this film, comes from not giving us enough to know where each step of his journey has left him. On one more of the positive notes of the film, we see a lot of people filming his interactions, we get the payoff to this in the end credits, letting us see the scenes from the handheld phone point of view.
THE LAST BUS will be released on Friday 27th August in selected cinemas.
Final Thoughts – The Last Bus is a movie that will leave you with tears of happiness and sadness for the beautiful journey down memory lane.