When Last Night begins, it is New Year's Eve and there are just six hours left in the life cycle of Earth. The film and the people who populate it calmly accept the fact that the approaching end is a given. There is nothing humankind can do to change the unstoppable. It is easy to imagine Hollywood's take on this. With a love of big budgets and special effects, you might expect a science fiction adventure. But this isn't that kind of movie. Last Night depicts the final hours of a small group of characters as they struggle to come to grips with their mortality and what life meant, and means, to them. All of the men and women introduced here has their own idea of what a perfect last night entails. For Patrick, played by the director, Don McKellar, it's abandoning friends and family, going back to his apartment, and listening to music by himself. For Patrick's best friend, Craig, the end is a nonstop opportunity to fulfill every possible sex fantasy. In revolving door fashion, he brings one woman into his home, sleeps with her, then escorts her out before the next arrives. Patrick's parents spend their last hours at home together, while his younger sister, Jennifer, goes out partying. And Sandra Oh, playing a distraught woman struggles to get home to her husband, played by David Cronenberg. A series of misfortunes befalls her, and, with public transportation non-functional and taxis ignoring fares, her chances of making her way across Toronto look bleak until she hooks up with Patrick.
Last Night was given Genie
Awards for Best Actress (Sandra Oh), Supporting Actor (Callum Keith Rennie) and the Claude Jutra Award for the Best First Feature. It also won the Toronto International Film Festival Award for Best Canadian Feature and the Prix de la Jeunesse at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
97 minutes - Drama
Release date: October 23, 1998
Canadian distributor: Odeon Films