Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his writings will help launch his careers.
Sometimes, films blend in with every other movie that's come along and eventually it's pushed aside and forgotten, stored away in your brain's databanks until you see a familiar face or name and think "Hey, they were in that one movie...." But Last Night in Soho is another level of filmmaking. It's destined to become a film that's remembered for years to come. If this film is not at least nominated for best screenplay, best director, best cinematography, and best picture, it'll be a true shame and the snub of all snubs. Soho is more than a film. It's an experience. It's a waking dream-state that quickly turns nightmarish and gives new meaning to the phrase "can't look away", as if director Edgar Wright has pulled a Clockwork Orange on the audience and has strapped you in for the ride, holding your eyes wide open, and refuses to let go until the credits roll.
The film follows Ellie, a young girl who has been accepted into fashion school in London and excitedly moves there. She meets some rather unsavory girls and, upon realizing she can't possibly stand to live in her dorm another second, she finds her own place to stay. In order to pay for the rent, she takes on a job at a local pub. Completely enamored with the 60s era, Ellie begins to dream of a girl named Sandy who has moved to London in search of stardom. She has a dream to perform. Ellie becomes attached to this dream girl, even dying her hair blonde in order to look like her. What she sees in her dream, she mimics in fashion design and quickly becomes top in her class. And then it all hits the fan. It's not long before Ellie's wonderful dreams turn into nightmares. Convinced she's seeing visions rather than just fanciful dreams, Ellie begins a search for the real Sandy in order to find out what happened to her. The film becomes deeply maddening and psychological, the twists and reveals enough to make your blood run cold.
Thomasin Mckenzie was absolutely brilliant as Ellie. Mckenzie's ability to showcase Ellie's descent into madness, her psychological terror, and still being able to keep her sweet nature in tact was absolutely astounding and shows just how important it is to have a great director in your corner. McKenzie was able to show just how talented she really is and I hope she gets more notice as her career continues.
Anya Taylor-Joy is always a delight on screen, her beauty and elegance translating perfectly into the 60s era and her ability to take on dramatic roles elevated her as the film took a dark turn.
Matt Smith was able to show off his range and just how dark he can go. People like me who knows him primarily for his Doctor Who persona are in for a deep shock as he's the polar opposite of the Doctor here as a businessman who scouts aspiring performers and preys on them to make himself and the other big wigs richer.
Edgar Wright wrote and directed the film, which puts him at the top of my annual Best Director Wishlist for the Oscars. His vision was remarkable, which makes me wonder just how deep the pit in his mind goes to be able to put this kind of film together. Fantastic work all around, but Edgar and Thomasin deserve the most praise of all of them.
In conclusion, if and when you see this film, I highly recommend you let yourself be transported into this world and let the film soak in your mind. It'll be a far more powerful experience and, trust me, this film deserves to be experienced, not just seen. I give Last Night in Soho a perfect 4 out of 4.
© 2021 Nathan Jasper