Last Night in Soho
Visionary filmmaker Edgar Wright delivers yet another cinematic punch with Last Night in Soho, delving even deeper into his fast-paced world of British humour and gore.
Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), a young aspiring fashion designer from the Cornish countryside, is obsessed with the Swinging Sixties and the glamorous theatre and shopping districts of London. She sees visions of her mother, who took her life while in the capital ten years prior, and before going there for uni her granny warns her to be careful because the city can be “a lot”, and a dangerous place. The first few days, in fact, seem to be taking a toll on the protagonist, with a taxi driver harassing her, an old man in the streets of Soho taking an interest and her student flatmates throwing parties she can’t stand. This changes when she decides to rent a room of her own where, every night in bed, she is transported to the swanky Soho of 1960s, floating between fancy theatres and dance shows. Here she meets Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy), an aspiring singer/dancer at the beginning of her journey in the West End, who inspires the clothes Eloise draws at school during the day. The entertainment world Sandy dreamed of, though, slowly turns out not to be as sugar-coated as she initially thought.
The level of choreographic effort required, not only for the ballroom scenes but also the balletic camerawork, that keeps the interaction alive between these two women from two different eras is impressive. Wright has always made clever editing his trademark, at the expense of finesse. This time, he raises his own bar and enters a territory of class and style not previously explored.
The use of custom design – viewers will be charmed by Matt Smith’s suit, haircut and panache – is marvellous, and the period sets, albeit tiny, will catch the eye of many. For a Londoner, this film is even more amusing to watch. Most of the exterior shots are from real central London locations, to which the director is obviously dearly attached.
Last Night in Soho is one of the most fun, beguiling and trippy features of 2021, and with a Halloween weekend release set, its horror elements will hit their peak. The Prince Charles will be the place to see it.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Last Night in Soho is released nationwide on 29th October 2021.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2021 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for Last Night in Soho here: