And yeah — there have been so many assertions of the last day of the world,
it boggles my mind that people continue to make predictions like this! I
feel bad about all the money he and others have put into this! :(
I have seen this film twice, and believe that it is certainly one of the best films of 1998. One person brought that people wouldn't be violent on the day when the world ends, but come together in a type of philosophical togetherness. I was stunned by that idea, assuming that the cynicism that permeates today's culture would have enforced that idea, that violence will be around. The end of the world is a violent thought, as exemplified in films such as Armageddon and Deep Impact (true, they were stupid films). But that aside, Last Night is a powerful and very introspective look at the lives of several people who's lives happen to be interwoven on the last day of the world. It begs the question "what would you do with the final six hours". Many have remarked on the tone, and I have to heap more praise on the subtle irony that is found throughout the film. Why is the world ending? The audience doesn't find out. Whether one's appreciation of the film diminishes or grows for this ambitious step is purely personal. For a ninety minute film, it's ambition in depicting six lives is interesting, and it's only mistake. For the movie to do justice to all the characters, it needed to be at least half an hour longer. But that singular flaw does not negate the film's final achievement.
The entire cast is sensational, even if they're on for short periods of time. Rennie and Oh took home well deserved Genie awards for their brilliant performances, but I felt McKellar's performance was the most intriguing. He has a talent for not poignant drama, but scenes of almost deadpan-type comedy (where Sandra asks him the favour).
Don McKellar has got to be among the most versatile writers around. After writing Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, the fragmented biopic about the famous pianist, and The Red Violin, another slightly fragmented story told through and about a violin, he wrote, directed, and starred in Last Night, and apocalyptic dramedy (or an ironic tragicomedy), and he does it with supreme style. Last Night is a film not to be missed, but to be pondered over and savoured.