The Last Ride

I honestly can’t remember the last “great” film I’ve watched. Sure there have been a couple standouts this year – Zombieland was entertaining (if a bit shallow), The Hangover was mildly funny (if that sort of thing is your bag), etc. District 9 was, and I seem to be in the minority here, by far the most overrated film of the year. I understand the novel visuals and plot, but honestly it made little sense and the characters were forgettable. Just read any of the thoughtful reviews out there to get the gist of what I’m saying.

Anyway the point here is not to deride the garbage that Hollywood so reliably produces, but to remind you that there are some great movies out there that you may not have heard of. Case in point is “The Last Ride” an Australian made film by director Glendyn Ivin. My wife and I watched this at the Whistler Film Festival this weekend, and we both came away impressed.

More than any movie I remember, The Last Ride has that elusive quality that draws you in and makes you forget you’re watching a movie. The cinematography is maybe the best I’ve ever seen – it’s a gorgeous film. The characters are real, complex and brilliantly developed. This movie makes you feel a wide range of emotions, and even though you might think you know where it’s headed, the tension is masterfully crafted.

We did overhear some comments after the show that it was too dark, too depressing. And to be fair, it is definitely not a “happy ending” kind of movie. That fact will probably relegate it to the film festival section of local video stores – and I’d doubt it will see a wide release. Which is a shame really, because it’s the first really “great” movie I’ve seen in a long time and the first movie that made me feel something more than just regret at wasting the last hour and a half of my life. You should see this movie if you get a chance.

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