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
This film was a result of director Don McKellar's invitation to participate in a challenge to make a movie about the imminent Millennium. Instead of making a movie that he felt might date itself too quickly, he opted to make it about the end of the world rather than just the end of the Millennium. See more »
In the early moments of the movie, when the car's up on it's bumper against the pole, the girl puts her keys in the door to unlock it and when the door opens, the bell goes off, to alert that the keys are in the ignition, or that the lights are on. Neither is true. See more »
What I do find pathetic is people who, as soon as they hear that the world is ending, they rush out and try to hook up with someone like it was closing time at Studio 54.
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Special thanks to the director's exploited friends. See more »
(Last Night) I Didn't Get to Sleep at All
Written by Tony Macaulay
Performed by The The 5th Dimension (as 5th Dimension)
Courtesy of Polygram Music Publishing Ltd.
Reproduced courtesy of Arista Records Inc. and BMG Music Canada Inc. See more »
Don McKellar's less pretentious works (here, I exempt the Red Violin, of which I am not particularly fond) always seem to deliver what I need, if not quite what I want. There's always *something* about each work that bugs me a bit; but like the bit of gravel in your hiking boots that makes the trek that little bit more memorable, that little bit more real, I always wonder: would I really have been happier without it?
Last Night -- a subtle, oddly serene film about the world ending, not quite with a bang, not quite with a whimper -- but with a gently rueful, and very human, shrug -- is typical, in this regard. I more than merely like this film -- I believe I'd put it among my top ten favourite works, and I've seen a *lot* of movies -- but as a matter of honesty, I have to warn anyone who hasn't seen it yet, it does have more than a few rough edges.
The acting's a bit uneven, and ranges from borderline painful to actually stunning; I find the occasionally hysterical mother played by Roberta Maxwell painfully cliched. Bujold, on the other hand, you just have to see. Oh is memorable, surprisingly powerful. McMullen I still can't make my mind up about. McKellar is, well, McKellar. I can't help liking the character, even if it does seem a manipulative kinda setup that makes it so.
The script does amble a bit. It's kinda the nature of the story. And McKellar's fondness for clever, throwaway lines sometimes gets the best of him, in my view, both in his own part and in McMullen's.
But these are minor flaws, forgivable (or, as above, perhaps necessary), in an otherwise actually brilliant piece of work.
And overall, the writing, I have to say, is the best I've seen from McKellar yet. This a very delicately balanced script, marvelously restrained. Somehow, McKellar has made a movie in which regret, euphoria, and dread circle each other warily for an hour and a half, without melodrama once rising up out of the mix. There are believable moments of hysteria; they generally punctuate the prevailing current of reflection, resignation, and quiet desperation entirely believably and appropriately.
The ending... I'm not breathing a word about the ending.
Apart from this: it's flawless.
My vote: see it.
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