Last Ride – 7.9

At bottom, this is the same story as Beasts of the Southern Wild, with a little less color but without any of that movie’s flaws. Instead of a sick father raising his daughter with tough love to prepare her for the world, here was a doomed father running from the law, raising his son with tough love to prepare him for the world. Both single fathers die and both children survive, lessons learned. The acting was equally brilliant. Hugo Weaving was tough, mean, loving and ultimately out-of-control, while Tom Russell had a less uplifting but dramatically more challening role than his Louisiana counterpart. And as foreign as the bayou was, South Australia was just as exotic. Beyond the parallels, what elevated Last Ride over Beasts for me was the logic of the story and the consistency of its telling. I was never confused as to what was real, what was imagination, what was memory; everything and everyone was of a piece and gripped me all the way.

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