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Last Night

3.5 out of 5 stars 143 customer reviews

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(Mar 28, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews


Apocalyptic visions can take many forms, from atomic to cosmic disaster, from cautionary tale to sardonic despair, comets, asteroids, plague. But when it comes to the end of the world, one expects fire or ice, bang or whimper. Rarely does this genre focus on the area between those two extremes, as it does brilliantly in Don McKellar's Last Night, a wry tale exploring the effects of the world's imminent demise on a group of characters in Toronto. No panic ensues, no looting, no gnashing of teeth or elaborate schemes to forestall disaster. Well, that may be happening somewhere, but certainly not in Toronto. Here the radio counts down the top 500 hits of all time. The clock ticks by the evening hours while daylight fails to wane. Everywhere, people prepare for the end in ways that range from the mundane to the winsome. The principal action throws together Patrick (McKellar), a dejected young man who plans on spending the end alone listening to music, with Sandra (Sandra Oh), whose plans to spend the end with her husband (David Cronenberg) are thwarted by lack of transportation. Meanwhile, Patrick's friend Craig (Callum Keith Rennie) is fulfilling every sexual fantasy he's ever had. Love the one you're with is the message here. The real star is the tone of the picture, which is distanced and ironic and masterfully maintained throughout. Sarah Polley and Geneviève Bujold appear in supporting roles. It's the directorial debut of actor McKellar (Exotica, eXistenZ), who also scripted The Red Violin. --Jim Gay

Special Features

  • Parental Lock

Product Details

  • Actors: Jessica Booker, Geneviève Bujold, David Cronenberg, Robin Gammell, François Girard
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2000
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783240228
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,891 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Last Night" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Luckard on September 28, 2004
Format: DVD
I love this film, but I'll avoid going into why, since everyone else has already described how great it is. The new Lions Gate American DVD is just a reissue of the old Universal DVD. They are both Pan & Scan (Boo! Hiss!)

Just recently, a widescreen version has finally become available. It is only available in Canada, and is released by Alliance Atlantis. Be careful, as there is an older Alliance Atlantis disc that is Pan & Scan, like the two American discs. You can get the new disc at amazon.ca, where the ASIN number for the widescreen disc is: B0002XGJSW

Note that it has no bonus features and is not anamorphically enhanced. Also, the image quality is no real improvement over the dull, washed out look of the existing discs. It also costs about twenty-five dollars plus shipping, nearly double the cost of the American disc. Widescreen, however, was certainly worth it for me.
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Format: DVD
Most films dealing with apocalyptic themes, especially nowadays, likes to use a ton of flashy special effects and thundering soundtracks to convey the imminent demise of our planet. Fortunately for viewers who want something a little more thought provoking, other films about the end of the world occasionally slip through the cracks. One of these films is "Last Night," a chilling, low budget piece of cinema from Canada. "Last Night" doesn't have huge asteroids slamming into the planet, or killer plagues turning the human population into dust, but it does have heavy atmosphere and compelling performances from several actors and actresses you have probably never heard about. The movie even casts famous horror film director David Cronenberg in a major role. If you tire easily of the big Hollywood action/apocalypse films, turn to something like "Last Night" to get your Armageddon fix. About the only problem I had with "Last Night" concerned the play list on the radio station as it counted down the top 500 songs of all time. Personally, I didn't recognize very many of these tunes; I would have picked a few numbers that are more upbeat myself.
"Last Night" distressingly describes the last six hours of the last night the human race will ever see. Set in Toronto, Canada, the movie closely follows the final hours of several individuals, including a reclusive loner and his family, his best friend, an Asian woman desperately trying to reach her husband before the catastrophe arrives, an energy executive and his secretary, and a former high school French teacher. Perhaps surprisingly, most of these people sedately go about the last moments of their lives as though it isn't a big deal.
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Format: DVD
No fire and brimstone, no biblical monsters, no masshysteria...not even a crazy old person screaming to all to save theirsouls. This is the story of the last night on earth. For the past few months the people of earth have known that the world would end at this midnight, obviously having something to do with the sun...which even at 11:59:59 shines as brightly as midday. Around the city of Toronto, a family sits down to Christmas dinner, though it is not Christmas. A man working for the gas company (David Cronenberg) calls everyone in Toronto to let them know that their gas will be on for as long as possible. His wife (Sandra Oh) desperately attempts to get home after her car is vandalized by looters. A man elsewhere in the city attempts every sexual fantasy he has ever considered. When another gentleman (McKellar, who also directed) who has every intention sitting home alone listening to music up until the end runs into Sandra, and they wind up spending their last hours together.
There has never to my knowledge ever been a film like this one. No drama, no hysterics, this movie shows the world as it most likely really would end were we to be made aware of it a couple of months in advance. It makes you sit down and think for a moment about who you would like to spend your last hours with. Family, friends, lovers? Who would be important to you during the last six hours, and how would you wish to spend it with them? I couldn't fathom of it, but McKellar, who also wrote this story, does a brilliant job of it. This movie is amazing and beautiful and rarely tragic. It is definitely worth your time and definitely worth the purchase. It's food for thought, and a brilliant accomplishment by McKellar. If you like him, check out some of his other work such as Exotica and eXistenZ. END
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By A Customer on July 25, 2000
Format: DVD
First of all, I hope you haven't read the Amazon.com review above, as it spoils one of the film's surprises. Second, I would give the film itself 5 stars, but I deduct a star for the lackluster DVD presentation. It's full-frame (not letterboxed) and as for extras, there are none - it's your basic no-frills movie-and-a-trailer. Bleh. (Hell, the trailer is letterboxed at 1.85, why isn't the film?)
Having said that, you still need to own this. Or at least rent it, be blown away, come back here, and order it. Don McKellar has fashioned one of the most subtly moving directorial debuts in recent memory. So many classic moments...Callum Keith Rennie showing his friend McKellar his special room; Sandra Oh's reaction to a message on an answering machine; David Cronenberg (yes, him; great director, kind of a one-note actor, but his presence here is amusing and perfectly Canadian) sitting alone in his apartment eating ice cream; McKellar and his sister Sarah Polley (who deserves more screen time) trying to grin and bear it as their mom throws the final Christmas party they'll never get to have; Cronenberg's employee at the gas company getting drunk and wobbling around the office; Genevieve Bujold saying "Bon voyage" in the elevator.
It's a full package. The movie honestly earns its laughs and tears (I'm not a big crier at movies, but I misted up a few times). McKellar's handling of a variety of characters, and crosscutting between same, should be an object lesson to any filmmaker attempting this type of group portrait (are you listening, P.T. Anderson? A movie doesn't have to be 3 hours long and have characters blurt out their neuroses in order to move us). This is a quiet, understated, very Canadian vision of the end of the world.
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