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OK, what is going on please? Here is an excellent, skilfully crafted,
intelligently paced and well structured movie with a most complimentary
screenplay, and it should of course be rated at 8.x out of 10. Yet, as
I write it is barely rated above average. Sorry, but I have to knock
myself on the head a couple of times just to check that I am now indeed
only seeing 6.7 out of ten for a most excellent relationship themed
I am not at all sure what is wrong with most people who've rated this movie "a notch above so so", save for the usual obvious problems when it comes to matters of 'most people'... Nonetheless, I am reminded that most people often get it right: Matchpoint was correctly rated, Two Lovers was fairly rated, Before Sunrise also got the high rating it so deserved. However, here is a movie which is every bit as excellent as those named movies, albeit being in its own inimitable way different, yet it is still currently (Spring 2011) faced with the travesty of being so unjustly under-appreciated.
Please watch this movie if the themes of modern relationships, loyalty, trust, and betrayal are of any interest to you, and you should find, as I did, that its insanely 'above average rating' is well short of the mark. For this movie is a near masterpiece as a study of such themes. The performances of the lead actors/actresses, its screenplay, direction, score, production are all first rate. Don't miss this movie if you've a brain in your head, and if themes concerning relationships are of any interest to you at all. I also rated Matchpoint, Before Sunrise, & Two Lovers very highly, in case you're wondering if my word is worth following. Then you should also find it to be worth a far more realistic 9/10
Rather enjoyed this film at the Rome Film Festival last night. The atmosphere of New York by night and the soundtrack itself made it worth the half an hour delay getting in! The main performances are strong, Keira puts in a surprisingly convincing interpretation as the wife who meets her previous love the day her husband is out of town with a female colleague he likes. It discusses the nature of love, betrayal, marriage and sentiment in a thoughtful way, without the usual labelling of people as cheaters and victims. It should encourage us to realise that life and relationships are more complex and that ultimately, nobody really belongs to anyone (however much we might like to think we do). It's a shame these days that we only get to see the lives of the beautiful, very well-to-do folk (in their wonderful apartments, sipping on fine wine) on the big screen as if temptation within marriage was a luxury that only the wealthy and obscenely photogenic can afford. Anyway, universal themes are dealt with well and it's good fodder for a long conversation afterwards.
I am very surprised "Last Night" got a rather lukewarm user rating on IMDb. From my point of view it is a movie that is very honest, if terrible in its depiction of relationships, love and faith. There were many moments, where I expected the movie to lose its momentum, where the filmmakers could have chickened out, but that never happened. Maybe too much is talked about, when some things could have been told through pictures. Then again, I found all dialog very believable. My only criticism concerns Sam Worthington's rather wooden performance. Apart from that "Last Night" really knocked me off my feet, from the beginning right until the brilliant final scene.
LAST NIGHT is a tightly woven tale that explores the psyches of four
people in one fascinating evening. This is the initial directing outing
for Iranian-American writer Massy Tadjedin ('The Jacket', 'Leo') who
also created the story and the script: the film is so fine that we
doubtless will be hearing more about her.
Joanna Reed (Keira Knightley) is a beautiful young writer married to commercial real estate developer Michael Reed (Sam Worthington) in what appears to be a happy marriage despite the struggle between two careers. Michael takes Joanna to a company party and there she observes the soft spoken Michael paying attention to one of his co-workers, the sensuous Laura (Eva Mendes), an act that Joanna feels indicates unfaithfulness or at least suspicious behavior on Michael's part. The seed of doubt is planted, Michael is leaving for a business trip to Philadelphia the next morning with his coworkers Andy (Anson Mount) and Laura, and there is friction between Joanna and Michael that Michael's reassurance cannot overcome. The next day as Joanna sops for coffee she encounters an old flame from her time spent writing in Paris - Alex Mann (Guillaume Cadet) - and they agree to meet that evening. Chemistry resurges and that evening as Alex and Joanna dine with Alex's publisher Truman (Griffin Dunne), both are questioned by Truman about their past affair, Joanna admits she is now married, and Alex is in a relationship in Paris. The couple leaves and circumstances lead them to return to Joanna's apartment where they face their feelings. At the same time as this evening is developing Michael and Laura enter a seduction dance: Michael is faithful to Joanna but the emotionally bruised Laura persists in her attempt to pull Michael into her web. The manner in which each of these temptations resolves and the aftermath is the brilliance of Massy's writing and direction: this is a story written very much form a women's vantage and that fact allows each of the characters to become very well defined and credible.
The quartet of actors is well matched: Knightley continues to mature as a fine actress, Sam Worthington breaks out of his stodgy shell to allow us to see a man driven by fidelity and tempted by lust, Eva Mendes takes Laura to a higher dimension of being, and Guillaume Cadet is undeniably an Alex who few women could resist: he has true star power. The method of pairing the development of the one night by flashing back and forth between the progress of the two couples in the dance of seduction vs fidelity is extremely successful. This is a thinking person's movie and an introduction of a writer/director who already has shaped the beginnings of a successful career. Highly Recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is one of few I am going to watch again. Actually, I can't
wait to have my own copy.
I could agree that the storyline is not most original ever but this is the movie you watch not to see pictures but to feel sensibility. I imagine if you were never involved in that kind situation it could be hard to catch the sight of the pain, misery and suffering. However I am not sure about the character of Keira Knightley. I believe she is a great actor but the character she played was ambiguous. In some scenes she acted like an easy-going girl who considers her ex-love like some fun but later you see how much it hurts to her.
I cant understand what type of girl the authors wanted to make of Eva's Mendes' character. When she told a story about random incidents letting decide her behavior she looks like fragile and unsure girl but later i could call her quite a bitch. However I would like to believe that she should feel quite guilty about falling in love with a married man.
I was expecting the character of Sam Worthington to be firmer. On the other hand then he would look like malignant cheater however he was the victim of circumstances.
I never saw Guillaume Canet before this movie and I was excited about his likeliness to McDreamy Patrick Dempsey. His playing was perfect, he expressed his feeling in such a persuasively way and he deserved the name of McDreamy.
I was both happy and unhappy about the end of the movie. Any end case would have called lots of objections and discontent. However I was expecting it would tell what is the right end in that type of stories. As you may guess there is no right end. And the movie gives you much potential to think.
Saw this movie at the Tribeca Film Festival and can say that I was truly taken aback by the brilliance of such a simple concept. The movie about a married couple amid marital temptation is very well acted and directed. The film captures the vibe of the Tribeca lifestyle and the trials of a young marriage. Sam Worthington does an amazing job as the reserved husband in love with his wife. The film is well-paced and builds to a crescendo of will they or wont they infidelities. Visually the movie is simple but the effects of overlapping pictures and conversations highlights the similarities of temptation and the differences between men and women. The story was truly amazing and the best movie I have seen in 2011.
I generally find the romantic dramas boring, because besides of the
fact that they use to abuse of the same clichés over and over again,
their intention of touching us or making us cry feels even more forced
and dishonest when it is not well handled, which is what happens in
most of the cases. However, I decided to watch Last Night because I had
some free time. To my surprise, I ended up liking the movie very much
because of its detailed narrative, brilliant performances and for
daring itself to raise interesting questions about the marriage, the
faithfulness, and the responsibilities from a couple.
One of the things I most liked from Last Night is that the screenplay does not stay on the simple level of a moralistic fable, but that instead of that, it involves us gradually on the game of emotions, circumstances and decisions which will influence in the couple's destiny. The rhythm from Last Night is slow (but never boring), and the spectators who expect to find the runaway melodrama from films like Closer and Eyes Wide Shut might feel unsatisfied with it. On the opposite, Last Night focuses its attention on the small details...Joanna's expression when she imagines the road her life could have taken if she had stayed in Paris; the poaching looks from Michael to Laura...what I wanna say with this is that Last Night is not a cathartic soap opera melodrama, but a methodic and intelligent characters study with an emotional minimalism and thematic clarity.
And we also have the extraordinary performances from Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington. I think that Knightley brought her best performance so far in here, because of the amazing conviction and aplomb she shows in her character. As for Worthington, he shows a much wider histrionic range than the one he displayed in the action and adventure films Terminator Salvation, Avatar and the remake of Clash of the Titans, and I hope to see him in more dramatic roles. Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet also bring solid performances, but Knightley and Worthington definitely steal the show with their fantastic works.
Considering that the romantic dramas generally bore me, the fact that Last Night kept me fascinated from the beginning to the end, and left me thinking once it was over, is something remarkable. In conclusion, I consider this film worthy of an enthusiastic recommendation because, leaving a few moments of a slight pretension aside, this is a brilliantly written, solidly directed and perfectly acted film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's rare when a film's rating actually starts to climb the more people
get to see it, so I'm really happy because Last Night totally deserves
A lot has been already discussed in other reviews, let me comment on things which haven't been covered yet.
*** Possible spoilers ***
Apart from main themes of the film: "Which is worse - physical or emotional unfaithfulness?", "Can suspicion give rise to infidelity?" and "What do we regret more, doing something or blowing the only chance and not doing it?", I love the way Massy shows the irony of getting what one wants. Or rather the way it happens in real life: when we get it, it's not quite exactly WHAT we wanted and usually not WHEN we wanted it. Joanna is the perfect example of that. She wants Michael to love her, spend more time with her, and to be his sole object of attraction. When he realizes how much she means for him at the end, and he himself wants to give Jo what she wanted, she couldn't care less... now she's all about Alex. She gets exactly what she wanted but too late.
And then there is this theme of temptation and how people are fighting it. Massy Tadjedin shows all the hypocrisy of this notion. Temptation is not something awful that people FIGHT, it's something pleasurable that they actively SEEK. Very often anticipation of a deed is more gratifying that the deed itself. This is what temptation is. It's almost like foreplay. People love toying with an IDEA, playing all possible scenarios in their mind, modifying it, perfecting it. And at the same time they have this conceited view of themselves as being noble because they are "resisting" the ACT. But the truth is that if temptation really was something horrible that we have to fight with all our might, we would do all we could to avoid putting ourselves in such position. Joanna would never go out with Alex, Michael would never end up in this pool with Laura. They did that not because they saw that as a challenge and wanted to examine the strength of their character, but because they wanted it, because it was (almost) as good as fulfilling their fantasies.
Finally Joanna and Alex are writers, and as such are used to living in the world of heightened emotions. Drama is their air. They are both aware, maybe her more than him, that fulfillment quenches the urge, while longing is more powerful and eternal than desire. What seems like an almost unbearable sacrifice on her part, in fact may be her way NOT to give up this love.
Acting is fantastic from everyone.
I am Joanna in real life, and I didn't sense a single false note in Keira's performance. It's heartbreaking because it's so true.
I've never been the greatest fan of Eva Mendes but she won me over in her last scenes.
The only character of the four I've never been is Alex, but Guillame Canet if not exactly helped me understand his behavior at least made me feel sympathetic to him.
Finally Sam Worthington was tasked with probably the hardest and most ungrateful job. Firstly, his Michael, unlike Alex, is not the kind of man women fantasize about, but the kind they end up marrying. If Alex is caviar, Michael is bread the unexciting, taken for granted one, but one who's essential, who provides safety and stability for neurotic Joanna. That this unpretty, almost starchy affair probably constitutes the most exciting thing that has happened in his life of late, borders on poignant. On top of that, the two couples move to the steps of a different dance. While Joanna/Alex let their bodies speak with more and more broad gestures through the night, with Michael/Laura it becomes much more vital what they do NOT do or say. Once they both know exactly where they are, each step becomes like walking a minefield - one word or gesture too many from him, and Laura may mistake it for a sign of his readiness to go where he still hasn't decided whether to go or not. So as the film unfolds, the plot requires this quiet and uncomplicated guy to go progressively more restrained and subdued. And still, constrained by these tight borders of the character, Worthington manages to give his Michael subtle variety: at the opening party Michael has this adorable innocence of an attractive guy who's completely oblivious that he is; he is the real, most earnest self in the moments of intimacy with his wife; and finally when Laura makes her intentions clear he becomes self-conscious, visibly uneasy and unaccustomed to being the one who's appreciated and admired for once. I feel pity for him that this really solid performance doesn't seem to resonate with critics, but at the same time I'm grateful that he chose truthfulness over the urge to show off as an actor.
Special mention - one doesn't get more charming than Griffin Dunne. His Truman stole every scene he was in!
One last word about writing.
Massy Tadjedin directed the film based on her own script, and I thought that she would be very "protective" of every line. I had a chance to read it and I still vividly remember the first 20 pages or so because what the characters say there are verbatim the conversations I once had, same words, just a different language. But in the film, almost all of it is gone. It's incredible because the feeling is the same, but instead of dialog it's all done with gestures. And this is what makes it so much more gratifying - we're given the chance to watch, decipher the subtleties of body language, recognize the patterns we know from our life. Fantastic!
I'm really looking forward to her next film.
I enjoyed this movie because it shows real life.There are many difficulties and temptations in a relationship, especially a marriage and that could be a start for someone to watch it.Sometimes it's good to get an idea of what really is going on in reality.We are so used to see a happy end and foolish problems and many may not appreciate the plot .I believe though that the end is a little poor, but maybe on the other hand it lets the viewer decide what would he do in the circumstance that was presented, because the characters can relate to every common man or woman.I also liked very much the chemistry of Knightley and Canet, but in my opinion Worthington and Mendes were not really the best choices, not that their act wasn't good, it just did not hit the eye. I also loved the location!
LAST NIGHT - CATCH IT ( B- )
Last Night is not a typical movie, its Artistic and sexy (more like a theater movie) about emotional intimate infidelity. Its shows how infidelity doesn't have to be physical. Sometime people commit infidelity by involving emotionally with the other person. Keira Knightley is stunning & delight to watch as always. And best thing about Last Night is we get to see her in modern setup, otherwise 90% she appeared in period movies. The cast is good but I've hard time accepting Sam Worthington as leading actor, I think he lacks the charisma & always be a Blue Avatar. This actor is really dry doesn't offer much besides stern face. Guillaume Canet Aka. Mr. Marion Cotilard is charming, it is my first time of watching him in any movie. Eva Mendes is smooth and sexy.
Last Night is an engaging movie with interesting ending, which definitely worth a watch, if you are in mode of some thing emotional.
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