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Edgar Wright's Last Night In Soho


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On 17/11/2021 at 18:01, womblingfree said:

Saw this today. It’s almost great. I’ve spoilered stuff but if you want to go in completely cold skip this.
 

The first third is fantastic, better than anything I’ve seen Wright do before. He nails the small town girl, university arsehole bullying but most of all absolutely nails 60’s clubland. At points it’s like he’s channeling Peter Strickland by way of Performance and Alfie.

 

The weakest bits are

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The CGI ghosts, which seem straight out of Dr Who

 

The entirely one dimensional uni boyfriend. He does get a couple of good lines, but even these seem to be straight out of a different more typical Edgar Wright film.

 

The mish-mash of styles and endless running around Soho Square reminded me of a well made student movie.


That aside, the casting is pretty magnificent. McKenzie and Taylor Joy are wonderful, with McKenzie stealing it for me.

 

Jocasta is fabulously cunty.

 

Terence Stamp seems a bit miscast, or under used. But Diana Rigg is god-tier. A great final appearance. Also just really lovely to see Rita Tushingham in anything.

 

Matt Smith is just so effortlessly good in everything these days I kind of hate him, but he’s still very good.

 

Finally, the twist completely got me.

 

It’s a good film but I’m annoyed it’s not all as great as two-thirds of it is. Starts well, ends well, with a flabby middle. If only he’d kept perfectly channeling 60’s film making all the 

This pretty much sums up how I felt about it. There certainly is a lot to love, and I expect I'll like it more and more on repeat viewings, however...

Spoiler

Those crappy cgi ghosts almost ruin it for me. They are not in the least bit scary, and we seem to spend about 20 minutes with them constantly turning up.

The world Edgar has created is one that's really sticking in my mind though.

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I really loved this. Lived up to the amazing trailer and can't wait to see it again. Entire cast was great (especially Thomasin McKenzie/Ellie who I was able to relate to in more ways than one). And it's so beautifully shot as well. 

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Enjoyed this for the most part. Film reminded me of the Kill Bill films in the way those films put visual and audio cues from other films and weaved them in. Rather like a DJ mixing a track Films that I recognised were Amazing Mr Blunden, Repulsion, Suspiria, The Sentinel and 

Spoiler

the Sixth Sense

 

However, the final 3rd annoyed me somewhat.

 

Spoiler

Diana Rigg looks nothing like Anya Taylor Joy.  And are we to believe she left those bodies decomposing in the walls? Why bother trying to murder Ellie? She was leaving anyway. A better reveal would have been Ellie leaving and then a cutaway to the mantlepiece revealing the fact that Diana Rigg was Sandie. Which would have tied it neatly with Repulsion and that films final reveal.

 

Still a good film though. 4/5

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The main character was utterly dislikable with her soft little annoying voice. 
 

I was more or less out at that point. 
 

the 60s scenes, and the gambit woman were much better but didn’t save the otherwise plot hole-filled story. 

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This is Edgar’s best ‘none ice cream’ films so far, pilgrim was ok but baby was especially dire. Really like the tone and ideas in soho but he does overcook here and there, even doing flashbacks to explain twists which is a bit cringe but I think that’s always been Edgar. As much as he is this unique directing genius, he isn’t an arthouse director. He makes smart and interesting movies for mainstream audiences. 
 

 

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He's a genius level music video director, but I'm not sure his style isn't too tiring for a full film. His 'stuff happening' is amazing. But his characters are rarely characters I could care about. And perhaps he should direct another writers story or something.

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On 28/11/2021 at 08:07, Lovelyman said:

Really seems to me that it was a Friday Film Special on CBBC with added schlock.

 

The characters were paper thin, the exposition was unbelievably clunky at times and the bits that were supposed to be scary were like modern Dr Who nonsense.

 

 

 

Yeah, it's strange, I don't know what 'it' is, but he doesn't have 'it' in precisely the way Tarantino just has 'it'. Perhaps he should be a DoP on other's films as he's clearly a visual talent.

 

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I didn't see the point of this. I kept thinking of Black Swan, a film i loved, and i remember the thread on here people saying 'well, it steals from these other films...', but i didn't love it because it was completely new but because i think Aronofsky is a wizard with the camera, or his DOP/camera operator is, or they both/all are. It doesn't matter, i felt the same way with mother! Black Swan makes it feels very real straight away, you're just immersed in that world, you feel the pain she goes through and so when it goes weird it feels like it earns it. I like directing that's visceral i guess, it doesn't feel like a professional production with professionals doing their professional thing, but that it enters another realm and you're kind of unnerved by what you're witnessing.

 

I thought the opening was fine but Damien Chazelle started La La Land with a song and it was a billion times better, but..a highway compared with a bedroom, i guess it can't compete. I hated how cartoonishly predatory the taxi driver was given i thought the film might want to perhaps create a realistic world for you straight away before it goes weird. Then the also cartoonish bully straight out of Waterloo Road or something. This incredible opening 40 minutes of this film i'm not seeing at all. So the last half wasn't neccessarily terrible to me, because i didn't like anything that led up to it. I don't see the directing quality of Wright in this. I disliked how often he used the mirror trick. There's a few nice touches, the pull the bed sheets over transition. I don't know, it was all just naff.

 

And i couldn't help thinking if Aronofsky tackled this same premise what it would be like. It wouldn't feel like an episode of Doctor Who would it? It'd be so much more immersive and convincing, it would probably have a central character without an annoying mousey voice (yeah, annoyed me too) who you cared about, it'd probably dial down her visions and be more subtle about it, it probably wouldn't have additional characters played by actors from day time soap operas. Most importantly, it'd probably be scary sometimes. Wright is nowhere near the level of Aronofsky, i know. He's just strayed into his territory with this, it feels more like a Netflix funded passion project, like Mute, than something truly cinematic. And people are being soft on it because they like Wright. I do, i loved Scott Pilgrim. Last Night in Soho shouldn't be beyond him, there's plenty of first time directors or actors who direct who i think impress far more than he has with this. Or Winding Refn, it feels his territory, what would he do with it? I just watched Titane, the second film of the director of Raw, what would she do with it?

 

Also i like the music Wright likes, but hate every song he picks. Thinking of Titane, there's this er strain of filmaking that's brooding and muscular and so unusual and it has this capacity to go to umimaginable places and he can't seem to do it. I was talking to me brother about it, and he said 'is Wright just too nice to do something scary?'

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The "cartoonishly predatory" taxi driver was utterly believable to me, I really didn't have an issue with that character at all, and it wasnt unrealistic.

 

You hear of far, far worse. 

 

Likewise the 'cartoonish' bully, I have met that girl countless times in my teens and 20s, the idea that someone like that would be at London fashion school was totally believable. 

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4 hours ago, Isaac said:

The "cartoonishly predatory" taxi driver was utterly believable to me, I really didn't have an issue with that character at all, and it wasnt unrealistic.

 

You hear of far, far worse. 

 

Likewise the 'cartoonish' bully, I have met that girl countless times in my teens and 20s, the idea that someone like that would be at London fashion school was totally believable. 

 

It's how it's done. We're told how dangerous London is and then it happens straight away with soap opera level acting. The worst writing to me is that blunt trite type with zero subtlety. It's just the writer yelling I'M TRING TO COMMUNICATE THIS THING ARE YOU GETTING THIS, AUDIENCE, ARE YOU.

 

Maybe just prolonged looks in his mirror or more probing questions asked, not straight up pervy behaviour would be more subtle and more realistic to me. I just rolled my eyes, straight away it's announcing its level of writing. If 99% of life is boringly nice and ordinary then a film that only portrays the 1% of behaviour isn't being realistic to me. It's too easy. I think a substantially better writer is avoiding doing it. 

 

As for the bully, I know people can be like that, I wasn't like woah didn't see that coming! or anything. It was just so predictable and instant. Aren't films supposed to be more intelligent than this, delve into the greys of human behaviour than just be like; he's pervy, she's a bitch, he's overwhelmingly nice, he's mysterious, he's generous then ruthless. Don't even need to say who they are right? Those descriptions are all they are. 

 

This kind of lazy writing which leans into people's apparent misanthrophy is a real bug bear of mine, I'm totally aware all types of behaviour occur. 

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1 hour ago, Loik V credern said:

As for the bully, I know people can be like that, I wasn't like woah didn't see that coming! or anything. It was just so predictable and instant. Aren't films supposed to be more intelligent than this, delve into the greys of human behaviour than just be like; he's pervy, she's a bitch, he's overwhelmingly nice, he's mysterious, he's generous then ruthless.

 

I felt sorry for the bully, she seemed more insecure than just an outright bitch. 

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59 minutes ago, Isaac said:

I felt sorry for the bully, she seemed more insecure than just an outright bitch. 

 

Aren't all bullies? I did like her

 

Spoiler

response to nearly being knifed and someone saying 'it's alright' and she yells 'it's totally not fucking alright' or something like that. I found that response more realistic behaviour. Probably the most real moment in the film. I think it needed to be more effective in that switch back from her visions because for once I was engaged by it. The film is about someone suffering from far more severe mental illness than you ever thought would happen when the film began and yet no one talks about it? Or the film being about that? Why not make the film longer and expand this descent into madness more thoroughly. It's rushed and shallow. 

 

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It’s odd to compare Wright to Arronofsky. I don’t really get the comparison with black swan either. I like both films and agree that arronofsky would have been more subtle with this material. I don’t know, not quite sure why people compare Edgar with the greats. I just see him as a creative/refreshing mainstream director, I don’t think he’s trying to be an arronofsky or an ari aster or an Alex garland etc 

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He's not and I wouldn't compare him usually but with this film, more than anything else he's done he's moving into their areas isn't he? Him being usually creative didn't mean anything for me with this because it landed at Doctor Who level, he needed to elevate his thinking and direction when the characters are so thin and not enough to sustain it. It is a psychological thriller/horror that doesn't remotely feel like that at all. It needed to be scary, it needed to be intense, it needed to create a far more convincing lived in world for you to become absorbed by with a central character with acting that is more natural and less mannered. 

 

Black Swan is about a descent into madness as is Last Night In Soho, how can you not get the comparison? Black Swan's quality is 90% its direction. I thought Last Night In Soho was a complete failure because it thinks it can just do what it's doing without trying and I don't. 

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Yeah the more I think about it I can see where you're coming from, both protagonist are driven towards despair by career/passion. I was looking up the weekend numbers, Black Swan only made 1.14 million on opening weekend. Soho made 4.2.

 

https://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Black-Swan#tab=summary

https://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Last-Night-in-Soho-(2021-United-Kingdom)#tab=summary

 

Now I could argue that Wright is actively trying to make his films more mainstream to get bigger box office numbers but to be honest it's probably more just his style preference. Perhaps he just watched more Doctor Who growing up than Arronofsky and REALLY likes it .

 

But yes, this certainly felt like Wright reaching out and specifically trying to make a more artsy film and being a little out of his depth for where he is right now but I still thought it was great. No3 in my 2021 charts!

 

https://letterboxd.com/caponeadam/list/films-watched-in-2021/

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Capwn said:

But yes, this certainly felt like Wright reaching out and specifically trying to make a more artsy film and being a little out of his depth for where he is right now but I still thought it was great. No3 in my 2021 charts!

 

https://letterboxd.com/caponeadam/list/films-watched-in-2021/

 

Not heard of Surge, want to see it now. Again, not to further lay into Wright as though I hate him, but seeing just glimpses of Surge, whatever flaws it might have when i watch it (or not), I know it will be directed within the inch of its life, it'll be in the over the shoulder camera, the shakyness, the close ups, the choice of lens, the acting, it'll just be overwhelmingly intense. Maybe all predictable tricks but maybe all things just accepted to be the way to grab viewers. 

 

Wright exists in his own world really, he didn't seem to be trying any of that in Last Night In Soho but I think he should have. Could Wright direct Good Time anywhere near like the Safdie brothers did? Tarantino has been brought up in reviews on podcasts of this film that I've listened to, like 'Wright is even more of a nerd!'. They both make referential films and are steeped in popular culture, but at least Tarantino in revelling in violence shows there's no line he won't cross, and creates truly cinematic moments in his films. Retains who he is while attempting different genres. He hasn't directed a horror film but you think if he wanted to, he could amd it wouldn't be naff. There's a lot of tense scenes in his films. 

 

yeah anyway. people seem to be enjoying this film like they would a toy figurine they'd buy from forbidden planet or something. 

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It's an homage to Italian giallo cinema and classic British sexploitation cinema, it's not Aronofsky.

 

I also don't think it's a film about someone's descent into madness as you keep saying - it's a thriller/horror sexploitation murder mystery.

 

It's not Relic or Babadook - the supernatural elements aren't ambiguous, and we aren't supposed to take them as ambiguous. She can see her dead mum, and other dead people.

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27 minutes ago, Isaac said:

It's an homage to Italian giallo cinema and classic British sexploitation cinema, it's not Aronofsky.

 

Yeahh I know. But Black Swan was seen as influenced by Argento, no? That's partly why I brought it up. 

 

27 minutes ago, Isaac said:

I also don't think it's a film about someone's descent into madness as you keep saying - it's a thriller/horror sexploitation murder mystery.

 

But her visions overwhelm the film, it becomes a series of them that escalate. The mystery couldn't be less intriguing, did anyone care? 

 

27 minutes ago, Isaac said:

It's not Relic or Babadook - the supernatural elements aren't ambiguous, and we aren't supposed to take them as ambiguous. She can see her dead mum, and other dead people.

 

Maybe if there was some ambiguity it'd be more compelling. But sure. 

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Can't quite decide on this. A lot of style over substance but with a fantastic lead performance, really great visuals, lighting, & camera trickery and an amazing soundtrack.

 

However nearly all the others characters felt paper thin, with little substance and parts of it really felt like they were straight out of Dr.Who. It's also a bit too long and the twist was pretty easy to work out.

 

Maybe on a repeat viewing it would be better but on first viewing, it was good but has it's issues.

 

3/5 for now.

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