- 1h 50min
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An Homage to Great Film Making
I'm a big fan of John Malkovich, love Tony Hale although I've only seen him in comedy and thought Rhys Ifans was legendary in Notting Hill so I was fascinated by the casting of Last Call but I thought that being about a revered poet it might lean towards arthousey pretentiousness especially as I knew it was partly shot in black and white. However, I found this film to be surprising and extraordinary in every way and I loved it. The script is written by the director Steven Bernstein and is beautifully poetic without being annoyingly abstract, it's also expertly directed but unique, it doesn't come together like a typical Hollywood movie, it feels unusual, and the mix of colour/black and white I interpreted as the alcoholic deliriums Thomas often inhabits lacking the colour and clarity of his more sober, vivid moments. The performances by the entire cast including Romola Garai and Zosia Mamet are outstanding; it's a pithy piece full of complicated characters all fighting to survive in Thomas's fragile narcissistic web and requires a lot of acting talent which the cast possessed in spades. Thomas at first glance is a stereotypical flawed genius but Bernstein's words and Ifans' portrayal is so complete, so somehow full of humanity whilst also being clearly monstrous that I was totally enthralled. I have some experience of loving someone who was a slave to the drink and I felt Last Call showed the desperate pain of a rabid alcoholic without making him or those who love him into victims. Last Call is about the life of one man and I'm sure Thomas would have loved it not because it is flattering but because it is art at its best; truthful and moving and really in all its aspects an homage to great film-making.
- Jul 3, 2020
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