Last Night in Soho

Last Night in Soho
Running time:116 minutes
Director:Edgar Wright
Release date:29 october 2021
In acclaimed director Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller, Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer, Sandie. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something far darker.

Marianne Velma's Review

The past literally haunts Edgar Wright's filmography. Sometimes it serves as a narrative engine, other times it is invited in the form of flashbacks and most of the time it comes to feed the neuroses of the characters. So it's no surprise to see him tackle his first time travel film with panache. Well, not quite. Because as always with the filmmaker, appearances hide the trap he sets for the viewer. 

This life-size trompe-l'oeil begins like a sweet candy, with opalescent colored dresses and exciting pop music on which hovers the magic of "Swinging London". A London that no longer really exists, but which reappears to anyone who wants to see it. Eloise (Thomasin Mackenzie who plays with her multi-faceted physique with talent) fascinated by this period belongs to this category of sensitive beings. 

Like Alice going through the looking glass, the young woman finds herself immersed in a new world, with a mysterious singer in the making as her guide (Ana-Taylor Joy is magnetic, the 60s definitely suit her). The destinies of the two young women are mixed through time in a crazy race. A duality that the filmmaker transcribes to the screen in a rather sumptuous way in sequences that are in turn magical and terrifying. 

Suddenly, Last Night in Soho loses its marvellous appearance and shifts towards the horrific. The numerous meta references never clutter the readability of the story, but Wright clearly borrows more from the aesthetics of the Giallo than from the contemporary slasher. The subjective camera and some purely sensory scenes, mixing reality and nightmare, are a little treasure of horror. 

In this successful exercise of style, the ghosts take on a role that goes beyond the simple narrative surge. They embody the ornaments of a patriarchy whose violence ends up creating monsters invisible (or almost) to the eyes of all. Edgar Wright, himself quite nostalgic like his characters, reminds us that underneath the gilding, the rot often waits in the shadows. 

Last Night in Soho
Directed by Edgar Wright
Screenplay by Edgar Wright, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Story by Edgar Wright
Produced by Nira Park, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Edgar Wright
Starring Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp
Cinematography : Chung-hoon Chung
Edited by Paul Machliss
Music by Steven Price
Production companies : Film4 Productions, Perfect World Pictures, Working Title Films, Complete Fiction Pictures
Distributed by Focus Features (North America), Universal Pictures (international)
Release date : 4 September 2021 (Venice), 29 October 2021 (United States)
Running time : 116 minutes

Seen on October 12, 2021 at the Royal Monceau 

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