Last Night

on March 19, 2010 by Ed Scheid
   "Last Night" was one of the few genuinely original films at the 1998 Cannes Festival. Don McKellar, who co-starred in "Exotica" and co-wrote "Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould," stars, scripts and makes his feature directorial debut.
   This film takes place on Earth's final day leading up to its midnight end. There is no explanation for the end of the world and no Hollywood superstar to save the day. Every character must decide how to spend the final hours. A married couple (Roberta Maxwell and Robin Gammel) have organized a final family meal as a celebration to think back to happier times. Their son Patrick (McKellar) wants to leave them to spend his last hours alone. His sister ("The Sweet Hereafter's" Sarah Polley) and her boyfriend plan to celebrate at a final "blow-out" party. Patrick's best friend (Callum Keith Rennie) is spending his final day trying to fulfill his sexual fantasies, including one with his former French teacher (Genevieve Bujold). Sandra ("Double Happiness'" Sandra Oh) is desperately trying to get home to fulfill a suicide pact with her husband. And in an offbeat casting, director David Cronenberg ("Crash") plays a gas company bureaucrat determined that service will continue to the end. The characters interconnect, often in unexpected ways.
   McKellar has shot several striking scenes of abandoned cars and stores and of city streets where any semblance of order has collapsed. An excellent cast shows the wide range of emotions caused when the characters all know the time of their death. Though the film has some clever humor, the script takes the characters seriously, leading to some very moving scenes. It is a tribute to McKellar as actor, director and writer that Patrick's final decision becomes extremely suspenseful.    Starring Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, Callum Keith Rennie, Sarah Polley and David Cronenberg. Directed and written by Don McKellar. Produced by Niv Fishman and Daniel Iron. A Lions Gate release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 95 min.
Tags: Starring Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, Callum Keith Rennie, Sarah Polley, David Cronenberg. Directed and written by Don McKellar, Produced by Niv Fishman, Daniel Iron, Lions Gate, Drama

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