Last Night (1998 film)
|Directed by||Don McKellar|
|Produced by||Niv Fichman
|Written by||Don McKellar|
Callum Keith Rennie
|Music by||Alexina Louie
|Editing by||Reginald Harkema|
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
|Running time||95 minutes|
|Budget||$2,300,000 CAD ($1,600,000 USD)|
Set in Toronto at an unknown date, Last Night tells the story of how a variety of intersecting characters spend their final evening on Earth. It seems the world is to end at midnight as the result of a calamity that is not explained, but which has been expected for several months. There are several scenes of an ominously glowing sun, which gets progressively larger and brighter even into the night.
Some people in the film choose to spend their last evening alone, others with loved ones, others in prayer, others in public mayhem, and still others at raucous festivities. Duncan (David Cronenberg), the owner of a power company, spends the majority of his final day calling up every single one of his customers to reassure them that their heating gas will be kept on until the very end. Meanwhile, his wife Sandra (Sandra Oh) prepares to fulfill their suicide pact when she becomes stranded with a depressed widower Patrick (Don McKellar) preparing to die while listening to music and drinking wine on his roof, surrounded by mementoes of his recently deceased wife. The widower's best friend Craig (Callum Keith Rennie) participates in a nearly non-stop sex marathon as he attempts to fulfill every fantasy he has ever had, at one point awkwardly asking Patrick to join him. Sarah Polley appears as Patrick's sister Jennifer; their family chooses to have a final meal together although he leaves prematurely to seek his own finale. Jackie Burroughs makes an appearance as an apparently mentally disturbed woman who jogs around announcing how much time is left before the end. Arsinée Khanjian also appears as a mother on an abandoned streetcar who is paralyzed by despair.
In the climax of the film, Patrick and Sandra decide to fulfill the suicide pact that her husband was unable to complete. As midnight approaches, they both sit on the roof facing each other, listening to the song "Guantanamera", each holding a loaded pistol to the other's temple. As the final minutes approach, Sandra implores Patrick to resolutely carry out the pact. But as the final seconds approach, both characters are overcome with emotion and simultaneously let their pistols slip away as they slowly embrace in a kiss and the last moments of all the major characters are seen. It is at this moment that the world, and the lives of all of its characters, end.
Among its 12 awards, it won the "Award of the Youth" at the Cannes Film Festival, "Best Canadian First Feature Film" at the Toronto International Film Festival, and three Genie Awards: the Claude Jutra Award for best feature film by a first-time director (Don McKellar), and the Genies for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role" (Sandra Oh) and "Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role" (Callum Keith Rennie). In 2002, readers of Playback magazine voted Last Night the ninth greatest Canadian film of all-time.
- Don McKellar as Patrick Wheeler
- Sandra Oh as Sandra
- Callum Keith Rennie as Craig Zwiller
- Sarah Polley as Jennifer 'Jenny' Wheeler
- David Cronenberg as Duncan
- Geneviève Bujold as Mrs. Carlton
- Arsinée Khanjian as Streetcar Mother
- Jackie Burroughs as The Runner
- Tracy Wright
- "Last Night (1999)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved October 8, 2011.