A review of Edgar Wright’s new thriller LAST NIGHT IN SOHO starring Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Terrence Stamp and Matt Smith.
If you could go back in time, would you? Should you?
The past is another country, they say. One whose borders are locked. But what if that wasn’t entirely true? What if you could experience another time for yourself, in full sensory overload? That’s the situation for Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) in Edgar Wright’s new psychological thriller. A newly minted fashion student who has just arrived in the Big Smoke of London to start her future, but Eloise is obsessed with the past – longing for a bygone age, desperate to have experienced 60s London in all its glory. However, Eloise’s uncanny psychic gift means that she may get the chance more literally than she realizes.
Moving into her drab student halls, Eloise is immediately intimidated by her glittering roommate Jocasta (Synnove Karlsen) and Jocasta’s fashion-forward friends. Despite the attempts of her friendlier classmate John (Michael Ajao) to encourage her, Eloise can’t stand the all-night parties. Instead, she finds a room for rent at the top of an old house owned by landlady Ms Collins (Diana Rigg). It’s there, still unsettled yet hopeful for a new start, that Eloise slips away into dreams of the 1960s.
But are her night-time visions only dreams? Eloise finds herself inhabiting the life of Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), a 1960s starlet in the making, as she sashays into the Café De Paris. Sandie is a wannabe singer, dancer, actress, star – and she’s dead set on making an impression. All of Sandie’s dreams seem to come true as she meets the charming Jack (Matt Smith), a manager who might be able to introduce her to the right people to help launch her career – and Eloise is pulled along with her on an intoxicating adventure of first love, bright lights and big dreams.
Eloise immediately adopts Sandie as her role model and guiding spirit, dyeing her hair to look more like her heroine and living for the nights when she can re-join the past in her dreams. But when Sandie’s life takes a turn for the darker, Eloise threatens to spin off right alongside her. Those ‘60s dreams are now full of darkness; a darkness that seems to spill over into Eloise’s everyday existence as Sandie’s troubles become a weight around Eloise’s neck. Is there a way to change the past and save Sandie? Can Eloise solve a decades old mystery before she too is put in danger?
Herein lies the suspenseful premise of LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, a dark-tinged, neon-drenched, new thriller starring Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace, Jojo Rabbit), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma, The Queen’s Gambit), Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown), Rita Tushingham (A Taste Of Honey, Doctor Zhivago), Diana Rigg (The Avengers, Game Of Thrones, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) and Terence Stamp (The Collector, The Limey, Superman II).
Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World) directs LAST NIGHT IN SOHO from a story he conceived and a script he co-wrote with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (1917). The film is produced by Nira Park, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Edgar Wright. Executive producers are James Biddle, Rachael Prior, Daniel Battsek and Ollie Madden along with associate producers Leo Thompson and Laura Richardson.
For his creative production team, Wright turned to regular collaborators including production designer Marcus Rowland (Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World), BAFTA winning editor Paul Machliss, ACE (Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World) and Academy Award winning composer Steven Price (Baby Driver, Gravity, The World’s End). But he also recruited exciting new team members including cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung (Oldboy, The Handmaiden, It), and Emmy winning and BAFTA nominated costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux (An Education, Brooklyn, Chernobyl).
LAST NIGHT IN SOHO is a Working Title / Complete Fiction production, in association with Perfect World Pictures, of an Edgar Wright film for Focus Features and Film4 and was shot on location in Soho, Leavesden, Ealing Studios and London. (Courtesy of Focus Features)