Losing a parent is never easy, but for Oliver (Casey Nelson) and Lucy Sinclair (Kate Murdoch), the core characters in “The Last Treasure Hunt,” the process nearly boggles the mind. After their father passes away, the estranged siblings come together, presumably for the last time, to pack up his belongings and settle the estate.
Robert Sinclair had other ideas, however. During their childhood, he staged elaborate treasure hunts, complete with clues and a reward at the end for the victor. Now adults, Oliver and Lucy have to work together on one last quest to discover their father’s legacy. Facing serious financial troubles, Oliver is especially eager to solve all the clues quickly and get his share.
Premiering at Dances With Films 18, “The Last Treasure Hunt” offers intriguing interplay between a brother and sister. It’s doubly unique because Casey Nelson and Kate Murdoch, the writing team behind the screenplay, play the estranged siblings. Oliver is fairly dismissive of his sister, making not-so-veiled remarks about Lucy’s intelligence. He also refuses to share intimate details about his life, presumably because he thinks she won’t understand.
It’s evident that people have underestimated Lucy all her life. Murdoch’s expressive face shows some pain after being talked to in “Dad’s dinner party voice” by her brother. Most people treat the adult Lucy like a child at times, mistaking imagination and whimsy as some kind of handicap. “The Last Treasure Hunt” shows that she has lots to offer, though.
Director Patrick Biesemans takes the viewer to a beautiful waterfront location for “The Last Treasure Hunt.” It’s easy to see why Robert Sinclair loved the house and the surrounding property. Biesemans lets the story unfold in this tranquil setting, allowing Lucy and Oliver to drop their barriers, albeit slowly and carefully.
Actor/comedian Jeff Grace adds the comic relief as Alfred, the determined cousin of Oliver and Lucy. After sensing an opportunity to buy the family home, Alfred shows up with color swatches and legal documents in hand. Grace embodies the person you hate to see at a wake, the one with dollar signs in their eyes instead of tears.
Actor Charles Hoyes has a small but essential role as Gary, the neighbor who arguably knew Robert the best. He doesn’t interfere in that all-important last treasure hunt, but he’s on hand to offer insights into their father’s final days.
A multi-layered story, “The Last Treasure Hunt” makes the viewer think, especially about personal relationships that have been on the shelf much too long. With its solid characters and story, it is definitely worth a look.