W hile watching the Final Winter, you are transported back to a different time. A time when drink driving wasn’t seen as a big issue, KB was still the biggest beer in Australia and when Rugby League was a much simpler game.
The Final Winter is set in the early 1980’s and follows the story of Grub, played by Matt Nable, a working class, married, father of two, who has played over 200 first grade games for his beloved Newtown Jets.
Grub finds himself at a crossroad in his life when the team’s administration decides that they do not need him and are moving towards a corporate style of management seen in the modern game today.
The film follows his journey, as he battles with attempting to keep his football career alive and staying at the club he loves, while also fighting to keep his marriage together after the stress of being a Rugby League player becomes too much for himself and his wife.
Although Grub is a fictional character, the story and period of time he portrays very real. A large part of the movie is dedicated to illustrating this difference in Rugby League in the past, to how it is today.
The film is directed by Brian Andrews and Jane Forrest (known for her work on X-Men Origins: Wolverine and also Australia), who combine perfectly to bring you all the action of a sports film, with the story line of a drama.
While the film is essentially a drama, there are plenty of comic moments with cameos by some well-known Rugby greats such as Ivan Cleary, Tommy Raudonikis and Mathew Jones.
With an all-Australian cast, the film exceeds expectations, turning amateur actors into Hollywood pro’s as Matt Nable delivers stirring performance as Grub. Special mention must also go to Raelee Hill who plays Grubs wife, with a standout performance in a film dominated by men.
If you are looking for a sports movie, which still contains plenty of big hits, flights and expertly filmed sports sequences without the sacrifice of a good story line, then The Final Winter is for you.
The Final Winter gets 4/5 stars.
See the trailer below.