The Last Bus review – going nowhere fast with Timothy Spall

Spall plays a widower taking his wife’s ashes the length of Britain by bus in this lumbering drama

In this plodding road-trip movie, ailing pensioner Tom Harper (Timothy Spall, all slurred speech and shuffling gait) makes the most of his freedom pass and travels, by bus, from his home in John O’Groats to Land’s End to scatter his late wife’s ashes. Flashbacks to the early days of their marriage in the 1950s add context, but slow the already unhurried pace.

The journey is a nice excuse to paint Tom into a cheerily cosmopolitan portrait of the UK. His attitude is less parochial than his remote homeland might suggest, as seen when he steps in to help a Muslim woman who is being racially abused by another passenger. Later, he’s picked up from the side of the road by a group of friendly Ukrainians and taken to a party, though he’s not quite daring enough to try their pierogi, which he politely slides back on to the platter.

Watch a trailer for The Last Bus.


Simran Hans

The GuardianTramp

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