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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Last Night
Directed by Don McKellar
Universal 11/99 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - sexuality, langugage, brief violence

If the end of the world were six hours away, how would you spend your (and everyone else's) last night on earth? With your loved ones, in a prayer circle, at a party, having sex, rioting on the streets, or watching home movies? These are some of the options explored in this engaging apocalyptic romance directed by Don McKellar, the Canadian screenplay writer for Thirty-Two Short Films about Glenn Gould and The Red Violin.

As the top 500 songs of all time are played on the radio to signal the end, the streets are chaotic with citizens blowing off steam. Patrick (Don McKellar), an architect, heads to his apartment after spending Christmas dinner with his family. His sister Jennifer (Sarah Polley) looks forward to a last blast party. Gas company executive Duncan (David Cronenberg) and his colleague Donna (Tracy Wright) promise customers to keep services running until the end. Craig (Callum Keith Rennie) tries to have sex with as many different people as possible, including his high school French teacher (Genevieve Bujold).

Sandra (Sandra Oh) desperately wants to make it home to her husband since the two of them have made a suicide pact together. But circumstances beyond her control bring her into Patrick's space. Although he wants to exit the world alone, the two of them are forced into intimacy as the clock ticks down to the last minute of life on planet Earth.

Don McKellar's Last Night offers wry commentary on sexual politics, cell phones, the Internet, suburban morality, 1960s folk music, and civil disobedience. When Susan convinces Craig to join her in suicide, they must choose between two bullets or a kiss. That choice, in itself, makes quite a dramatic climax to a very interesting film.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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