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Last Night
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overall, a wonderful film

Author: Kiedri from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
6 August 1999

This film provided an insight into the nature of humans. The special effects are extremely minimal, but this lack of effects allows the viewer to reflect on the purpose of the movie and the points it was trying to make, these being: What would you do if you knew it was your last night on earth? Where would you want to be, and who would you want to spend it with? Some incredible acting and a very dynamic plot line add to the overall satisfaction you get from it. I was delighted to discover that this was a Canadian film.

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Interesting but hollow

Author: Dan Grant ( from Toronto, Ontario
12 July 1999

Canadians have an inferiority complex. We do. We are always trying to make ourselves known to our southern neighbours. We get upset when they don't know the Canadian national anthem or when they don't know what the capital of Saskatchewan is. And it is this inferiority compex that I believe is at the root of people in this forum that praise this movie like it was the best film ever made. When a lot of Canadians say how wonderful it is, they don't forget to mention the other films that came out last year that were "end of the world" films. And they say how terrible those films were, how hollow they were, how they were more concerned with the bottom line than to make a meaningful movie that had something to say. "Last Night", paranoid Canadians say, "is a film that is so good because there is no special effects and it concentrates on humanity and not the anamoly that is headed towards Earth." Well let me ask you this. When did entertainment ever become an evil forum? When is that films like Armageddon and Deep Impact became the enemy. And when is it that films were ever made because someone didn't want to turn in a profit? Do you think there is ever a time when someone says " You know what? I don't want this film to make any money. I just want to invest my life savings into this film and have three or four people enjoy it and then I want the guys who financed this to go broke. "

Folks, movies are a business and that is why Hollywood is as strong as it is and that is why the Canadian film industry is in the shape and state that it is in. We may tell stories that are interesting and have a point, but ya know what? They are boring. Most Canadian films are boring. Armageddon and Deep Impact were fun and entertaining and they followed a formula sure, but when you sat down in the theaters last year and you were in the cool air conditioned theater and you heard Charleton Heston's voice over explaining that " it happened once, it will happen again, it is just a matter of time", didn't you just sit back and say to yourself, " this is going to be fun. " And if you answer no to that question, you are either lying or didn't want to like that film going into it. It was an exciting film and most of our products are boring. Now I am not saying that's how I felt about Last Night, because I didn't. But I certainly don't feel that this is the be all to end all to film that most others do. It is a good film but it is hollow. And it is so typically Canadian. When people say that this film was good because there were no special effects and blah blah blah, that is because they can't afford them. And yes that forces people to write a script that is more concerned with how people talk and how they feel and on that level Last Night is fine, it is not great, it is just fine. It didn't move me and frankly I didn't really think it had much to say. It was just all right.

What I did enjoy was the exploration into some people's lives. Some were interesting and some were not. I found the sex addict to be amusing and actually quite real. His life was devoted to having as much sex as possible before he went out. And that was interesting. The guy who wanted to perform his first concert on the night of the end of the world was good as well. But tell me please, what would anyone be doing at work on this day? And a gas company? Come on. That just didn't do it for me. And why did Cronenburg's character get shot? For something to do? For kicks? Was that the reason? It just wasn't clear. You see, to me, if you want to have a film that examines the psychology of humans on the last night of the earth, then you have to have a few characters that are richer than this. I didn't buy the whole story with Patrick and the Oriental girl. It felt forced and it's like the script was grasping when it wrote that story line in. So I guess my problem with the story is that it didn't show enough of what it really would be like. And it was so damn slow in some areas. I know it sounds like I really hated this movie, but that is not the case, I am giving it a 7 out of ten, but it is just not the master piece that I think everyone says it is. Of course that is just my humble opinion and I am obviously in the minority here. Perhaps I am a product of Hollywood so it clouds my judgement, but there are small films that I can enjoy just as much as the next person, but they have to be from the heart, I didn't feel that in here. It felt close, but in a way, I could feel the paranoia. And I am Canadian as well, born in Montreal, raised in Windsor and London Ont. and spent a few years in T.O. So I am as proud a Canadian as they come. And like I said, it is a good film, but ask yourself this, if this was a film done by a smaller American director, perhaps Alan Parker or even someone like John Badham, would you as Canadians think it was as great as you say it is? Or would you just say, " Yep, not bad, interesting." And then move on and look forward to the next Will Smith movie to come out?

Think about it.

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Top twenty all time.

Author: LenB from Redmond, WA
30 May 1999

I saw this movie at the Seattle Film Festival and voted for it for best movie in the festival. In my opinion it's the best movie since Sweet Hereafter (can you tell I like Canadian directors?). It goes somewhere in my all-time top twenty, along with such classics as The Seventh Seal, 2001, and Casablanca. *** In spite of the premise-- that the world is going to end in six hours-- this is one of the most upbeat, uplifting, spirit- filling movies I've ever seen. The performance of Sandra Oh alone would be worth the price of admission, but everyone else is almost as good, including star and director McKellar. Even Genvieve Bujold, looking 90 if a day, is up to the level of the others. The music is wonderful, providing a tongue in cheek commentary on the action some of the time. The script is incredible. The direction is perfect. *** I cannot recommend this movie too highly. It's one of the best ever.

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A refreshing change from the usual generic end-of-world movies

Author: Colin O'Brien from Brussels, Belgium
30 May 1999

No special effects, no explanation of why the world is ending or what is causing it, just great believable characters and an intelligent story. Well worth seeing.

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I loved it, and I'm not even Canadian

Author: Lexo-2 from Dublin, Ireland
27 May 1999

A beauty of a movie. The world is going to end and what do you do? Have as much sex as possible? Form a suicide pact? Drink wine and listen to classical music? Aimlessly overturn cars? All this, and more. Not the least virtue of it is the sly wit; the newsreader turns from a story about mobs wrecking the monuments of civilisation to how "hundreds of would-be rock stars joined Randy Bachman in a giant guitar jam today". But the overall compassion is the real heart of the film - not weepy sentimentality, but a decent respect for the complexity of people, of the kind that has only intermittently appeared in Hollywood films since, ooh, forever.

As to how the conflagration is going to happen, we never know, except that the time frame is from 6pm to midnight and in all that time the sun stays high in the sky. But then, it's often more affecting when you're sad on a sunny day than in the middle of the night. Also, I noticed that the soundtrack is almost all Canadian rock bands. Where were Rush, I'd like to know? (Joke.) I'll never listen to "Guantanamera" again without a lump rising to my throat.

Congratulations to Don McKellar on a great movie. Sandra Oh is going to be a star, if there's any justice; and it's good to see David Cronenberg playing somebody sane.

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It's the end of the world as we know it

Author: Cru3 from Vancouver, Canada
21 May 1999

"Last Night" is the directorial debut of Don McKellar, who has made his mark in Canadian films during the last decade as an actor & writer working with people like Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg, Francois Girard, and Bruce McDonald. His film here is part black comedy, part social drama, as a group of characters live out the last six hours of life on Earth in a way each feels is the most dignified .

There are no special effects here, not even an explanation for the event that is ending all life. Just a group of people at the end of the road. The wonderful ensemble cast includes McKellar, Sandra Oh, Callum Keith Rennie, Roberta Maxwell, Robin Gammell, Sarah Polley, Genevieve Bujold, and David Cronenberg. The dialogue is crisp & fresh, the film making expert, and at the end you feel you've seen something unique. By all means, see this film.

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Don McKellar is a genius, both with script and camera

Author: maverick-28 from Ottawa, Canada
9 May 1999

The photography of this film is astounding. The atmosphere is presented in the first minute, and is held strong throughout. The beauty of the characters makes them so enjoyable to watch, even if you don't agree with a shred of what they stand for. The delicateness with which he handles the end of all life is touching, and most of all, climactic. There was no skimping on ending. The only way to make the film work would have to be the scenes and stories get better as the film goes on, to ultimately climax at the end. There was no way around that. But McKellar doesn't compromise the rest of the film to make the final scene the best of them all. What he does is make an amazing film, and then in the last few minutes, reaches out to another level of storytelling and makes one perfect, angelic scene to top off the film, the story, and the world's finish.

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The best "end of the world" film ever?

Author: Dr.Flak
18 April 1999

"Last Night" is one of those rare moments of pure movie magic. This is quite simply one of, if not the best movie concerning the end of the world. Whereas other films on the same theme use big effects and mainly uses the source of impending doom as the whole story: __________destroys the earth.(Fill in the catastrophe of your choice, f.x.: Big rock or evil E.T.'s from space, Large quantities of water, Angry mountains, Oversized lizards etc....), "Last Night" takes a more intelligent and philosophical approach. The story takes place in Toronto on new years eve 1999 and tells us about how the characters spend the final six hours of existence and about their relations with each other. Hence it relies on the excellent story instead of a massive Hollywood budget and zillion dollar effects. Of course I liked the scene in "Deep Impact" where Paris is destroyed, or the white house in "Independence Day" but that's maybe 20 seconds of the film. And when the rest of the film is crap it doesn't really make a movie.

"Last Night" on the other hand is excellent all the way through. Good story, visually appealing, great acting and believable characters. I have nothing bad to say about this movie. Go see it before it's too late....and by the way: have you made any plans for december 31....?

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Breathtakingly fresh.

Author: Ashe-2 from Yellowknife, NT, Canada
10 April 1999

Although I'm extremely biased, I adore Canadian cinema. In my eyes, this movie has now become reigning king. I'm a huge McKellar fan, so when the Canadian indie "Moving Pictures" came to our town for the Far North Film Festival, I had to go. I was not disappointed in the slightest, in fact, I was given more than I expected. The humour and drama are tightly woven together to create a truly human piece. Don, if you're out there, kudos, and keep it up. I really enjoy your work.

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I've seen a million movies and this is the best.

Author: Nil Brown ( from Canada
9 April 1999

Although if you're reading this, you've probably seen the movie and want to see what others think, but for those who haven't witnessed this masterpiece, go out and see it as soon as possible. Take Armageddon, get rid of all the acting (except Steve Buscemi's) add the brilliant acting of Sandrah Oh , Dave Cronenburg and Don Mckellar (you've probably never heard of them) then get a coherent , intelligent story and you have "Last Night" I love it.

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