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10.05.2000

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flick pick | Last Night 1998
Directed + writter by:
Don McKellar
Starring: Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, David Cronenberg, Callum Keith Rennie, Tracy Wright, Sarah Polley, Genevieve Bujold
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: drama, foreign [Canada]
Watch it when youíre in the mood for something: serious
The verdict: / 5 the rating system explained

Plot synopsis Itís the final six hours before the end of the world, a fate for which mankind has had two months to prepare. In Toronto, lonely young Patrick Wheeler arrives late at his parents "Christmas" dinner. Itís not really Christmas, of course, but on this last night, his mother has gathered the family together for a nice, traditional holiday meal, and even gone through the trouble of presenting her children with wrapped presents of nostalgic bits from their pasts. Itís a brief meal, and then Patrick, much to his motherís dismay, is off on his own again, back to his sad apartment, where he intends to wait out the final hours in quiet solitude. His old friend Craigís got a different game plan: heís spent the last couple of months fulfilling each and every sexual fantasy thatís ever crossed his mind, and has a few more encounters to pack in during these precious remaining hours. Elsewhere in the city, a young woman named Sandra stocks up on supplies for her last night, but when she emerges from a shop to find that her carís been tipped and vandalized, is left roaming the city in desperate search of some way to get home to her husband. In the course of the evening, of course, these characters Ė and many more Ė find their lives intersecting in unexpected ways.

Review "Thought-provoking" and "moving" are two adjectives that generally cause me to drop the video box on which they appear right back on the shelf. Too often, "thought-provoking" really means "pretentious", "moving" a code for "cheap, manipulative sentimentality" Ė and neither are qualities that particularly appeal to me when Iím looking for an interesting movie to rent. So donít roll your eyes when I tell you that Last Night is both, because this end-of-the-world/Apocalypse movie is completely unlike anything youíve seen before. Itís decidedly un-Hollywood in its vision of what those final hours might look like Ė thereís some violence, some pillage, some chaos, but not a whole lot, as instead, people quietly seek their own ways of dealing with their final moments on earth. In many ways, Last Night isnít so much a movie about the end of the world Ė heck, we never even find out exactly how it is that the world is coming to its demise, although the constant daylight provides a vague clue Ė as it is a movie that examines why people act the way they do. How do we behave when the threat of future consequences no longer reins us in? And once responsibilities, civic duties, moral obligations and the like become more or less irrelevant, what, ultimately, do we most value in life? Watch this movie with a group of good friends and youíre sure to get some great conversation going afterwards.
 ó reviewed by Y. Sun 

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