7.1/10
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154 user 55 critic

Last Night (1998)

Trailer
2:58 | Trailer
A group of very different individuals with different ideas of how to face the end come together as the world is expected to end in six hours at the turn of the century.

Director:

Don McKellar

Writer:

Don McKellar
12 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don McKellar ... Patrick Wheeler
Sandra Oh ... Sandra
Roberta Maxwell ... Mrs. Wheeler
Robin Gammell ... Mr. Wheeler
Sarah Polley ... Jennifer Wheeler
Trent McMullen Trent McMullen ... Alex
Charmion King Charmion King ... Grandmother
Jessica Booker Jessica Booker ... Rose
David Cronenberg ... Duncan
Tracy Wright ... Donna
Callum Keith Rennie ... Craig Zwiller
Karen Glave ... Lily
Arsinée Khanjian ... Streetcar Mother
Chandra Michaels ... Streetcar Daughter (as Chandra Muszka)
Geneviève Bujold ... Mrs. Carlton
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Storyline

It's 18:00 in a somewhat deserted Toronto on the last day before the scheduled end of the world at midnight, the end which has been known now for months. Most people are treating midnight as a matter-of-fact event with little sense of panic. In fact, many are celebrating this last day. Most have very specific wants for this last day and will do whatever they need to to make those wants happen. And some, such as Duncan and Donna with the gas company, are working, ensuring that the masses are served and comfortable during the final hours. The Wheeler family are marking the last day by having a Christmas party, although sullen adult son Patrick, his thoughts in part stemming from being recently widowed, has made it clear he wants to be alone in his own home at the end. Patrick's wants may be in jeopardy when a woman named Sandra - Duncan's wife - lands on his doorstep. Sandra is stranded, trying to make it across town to her own home so that she and Duncan can carry out their own last ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's your last night on earth. Go out in style. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Don McKellar's feature-length directorial debut See more »

Goofs

When Craig agrees to lend his car to Sandra and explains what kind of car it is, he tells her it's a 1970 Lime Green Super Bee with dual overhead cams. The Super Bee was never available with an engine using dual overhead camshafts. In 1970 the Plymouth Super Bee was available with three choices of engines. Base engine was the 383 Magnum, then as options there was the 440 "Six Pack" and the famed 426 "Hemi". All of these used the Overhead Valve design or "OHV" design. See more »

Quotes

Patrick Wheeler: I think maybe I should mention before you make any faux pas here, that we have a tradition in this family, that we don't kill other people.
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Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the director's exploited friends. See more »

Connections

References Guantanamera (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night
Written by Franz Xaver Gruber (uncredited) and Joseph Mohr (uncredited)
Performed by Rita MacNeil
Reproduced by arrangement with EMI Music Canada and Lupins Productions
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User Reviews

 
Apocalypse on a human scale
18 November 2005 | by Adrian SweeneySee all my reviews

The world is going to end at midnight; it's six pm now. The impending catastrophe has been known about for months but nothing can be done about it.

Government has been wound down. There's a certain amount of mayhem, looting, and bloodshed in the streets, but most of that ended weeks ago; now people are just quietly resigned. The nature of the disaster is never specified or even mentioned, but cleverly hinted at. Sooner or later you'll suddenly realise what it must be to do with, and when you do it's a breath-catching moment. Once you notice this, the closest thing the film has to a big special effect, it becomes increasingly appalling as time goes on.

There are to be no last-minute attempts to save the earth. They were known to be futile before the film begins. Instead, people calmly make preparations for their last night alive. It's a bit like wanting to do something special for your birthday. Craig (Callum Keith Rennie) is living out the four-letter answer most people would give if asked 'What would you do if the world was about to end' - as he has been, methodically and systematically, for the past few weeks. Sandra (Sandra Oh) is trying to get across the chaotic city to her beloved husband. Patrick (Don McKellar, who also wrote and directed, brilliantly) attends a last family meal and plans a quiet evening alone with a Pete Seeger record. Almost everyone else is heading downtown for the big end of the world party.

Flashes of black humour help make things bearable, but I can't convey how genuinely chilling and terribly moving the film becomes before the end. Pre-millennium there were a handful of end-of-the-world films, most based around big-budget special effects. For a grumpy misanthropist such as myself, who officially couldn't care if the world was to end, even a blockbuster disaster movie like Deep Impact was a salutary experience, making me realise that I really, really don't mean that, and that for all its travails and miseries life is precious. But by excluding special effects and scientific explanations, and precluding the possibility of averting the end, and focusing entirely on the human, Last Night is far, far better and left me drained and devastated.

I almost prefaced these remarks with a 'Don't watch this alone' but decided, nah, other people can be a pain when you're trying to watch a film. But if you watch it alone and late at night as I did, be warned that after the end you may feel a strong urge to make contact with one of those annoying other people, at 2 in the morning, a friend, a relative, your milkman, anyone.

But watch this you must, for it's a great cinematic work of art.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Canada | France

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Last Night See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$591,165

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$591,165
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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