Film notes: Last Night

Last Night is one of my personal favorite end-of-the-world movies.

Last Night
Directed by Don McKellar
91 min, Canada, 1998

Originally published on Letterboxd, with no likes.

Canadian Don McKellar writes, directs and stars in a fresh and funny take on the ever appealing apocalypse genre, leaving out most of the sci-fi exposition and explosions and focusing instead on Toronto-area humans and their various existential, material, and philosophical crises as they confront theirs and all of humanity’s mortality. What the film finally examines is each individual’s core morality, which is to say they ask the question, what’s really important to me? A good double feature might be this and Albert BrooksDefending Your Life. McKellar is less self-absorbed and neurotic than Brooks, however, and for me, more likeable.

Sandra Oh is very good as the wife who goes to the grocery, in a Pacer, no less, to stock up on wine and cheese for a final dinner party with her husband but gets the car stolen and never makes it home.

David Cronenberg plays her husband, a worker at a utilities company who spends his last day on earth methodically informing every single customer that the gas will keep flowing up to the very last second.

A pretty sexy Callum Keith Rennie plays McKellar’s best friend who decides to fuck his way into eternity, seducing virgins, a former grade-school teacher (Geneviève Bujold), and lastly, unsuccessfully, McKellar himself in a very funny and honest scene.

McKellar plays Patrick, a loner who elects to spend his last night alone, away from his uncomprehending family, and who finally makes a connection, with Oh, at the point of a gun, at the end of the world.

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