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The Last Bus

A simple story about an old man and his long, long journey.

Tom is a pensioner living a quiet life in the village of John o' Groats -- the most northeastern point on the mainland of the UK. He undertakes a trip to the (literal) opposite end of the country: Lands End in Cornwall -- by bus. It's a very sweet story about the human condition, determination, love, dedication, passion, and public transportation.

Timothy Spall is an accomplished, classically-trained actor, a face familiar to me (and probably to you), though I've always seen him in bit parts or supporting roles. He absolutely shines in this film, completely inhabiting the persona of Tom as he makes his way on what is for him, an epic, deeply emotional journey. Spall is absolutely perfect in this, delivering an Oscar-worthy performance.

Ride along with Tom and you'll enjoy sweeping vistas of Scotland's beautiful landscapes. You'll roll through some of the grittier sides of the UK, too. You'll see everyday folks just getting by, you'll get stuck in traffic a few times, you'll meet a few cruel jerks, and discover the angels who walk among us. In other words, real life.

Compulsive trip-planners take note: Tom does a pretty good job of figuring out and documenting his plan (all written in longhand, on paper – no GPS, Google or even access to online bus-schedules), though he does hit some rough patches. Give the guy a break, it looks like 70 years had passed since the last time he undertook an ambitious journey (let this serve as an inspiration to you if its been a while since you set off on an adventure).

Official Trailer: The Last Bus (2021)

If your heart misses travel; if you could use a nice recharge of what it feels like to be on the road in the UK; if you are of a certain age or know someone who is; if you've ever been in love...I think you will appreciate this film. Those whose heartstrings are easily plucked will want to have a good supply Kleenex on hand.

A 2021 production, it seems to be widely available. It's available to stream at no cost on Amazon Prime, so it you have that, you're all set.

A very well-made film, highly recommended, and worth a watch.

Posted by
8056 posts

Whole heartedly agree.

If any of you watched the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics ( my my where does the time go…a decade ago ) Mr Spall appeared as Prime Minister Churchill.

He was also excellent in the 2014 film Mr Turner. Directed by Mike Leigh the film is about the life of artist J.M.W. Turner.

Posted by
4520 posts

I love Timothy Spall, and this sounds wonderful - I will put it in my queue. Thanks, David!

Posted by
6095 posts

He also played Churchill in The King's Speech. We'll probably watch The Last Bus tonight or soon. Thanks, David!

Posted by
2249 posts

Thank you, David. This sounds like my kind of movie and I’ll be watching. I have both Amazon Prime and those heartstrings so will round up Kleenex before watching.

Posted by
3401 posts

Yes, thanks for the referral. It is definitely my type of movie.

Posted by
1259 posts

It’s not available on Netflix, more’s the pity. There is a “The Last Bus” but it is a young adult sci-fi adventure.

Posted by
3449 posts

Thank you, David. Sounds like a great movie. Can't wait to watch it.

Posted by
59 posts

I watched this last week on my return flight from London on Virgin Atlantic (through their entertainment offerings). I was wiping tears away for the last 10 min of the film.

Posted by
14917 posts

Thank you for the recommendation, David. Maybe they will be showing it on British Airways on our flight home. I will search for it.

Posted by
34 posts

Thank you David for the movie tip, just watched it last night on Prime- a free one! Enjoyed the past /present connection.

Posted by
127 posts

I have been wanting to watch this movie. Traveling long distances by city transit is something that I really like to do and I was never aware that other people did this too. I often travel the 90 odd miles from Bellingham to Seattle using only city buses. It takes about 3 hours, 4 buses and costs well under $10. Google Maps can sometimes do the planning, but it can fail to find the route. I do double check city timetables and use a spreadsheet to plan it out. I have wanted to find longer routes, for instance, to Portland. But, so far I have not found a way.

Posted by
604 posts

David, Thanks for the recommendation. I watched it today and enjoyed it.

Posted by
4104 posts

Thanks for the recommendation. I had noticed this on Prime and will check it out.

Posted by
3261 posts

On the same theme this you tube Channel does 24 hour public transport challenges -

On the 24 hours from Charing Cross video I did work out that on one day a week you can on Day 2 you can go from Morecambe to Aberdeen by local bus, on Day 3 from Aberdeen to Kirkwall via Scrabster (for ferry to Shetland) and on Day 4 from Lerwick to Unst!!