The Last Minute

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The Last Minute
The Last Minute -- dvd cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Stephen Norrington
Produced by Stephen Norrington
Matthew Justice
Chris Blackwell (executive producer)
Peter Frankfurt (executive producer)
Hooman Majd (executive producer)
Written by Stephen Norrington
Music by Paul Rabjohns
Cinematography James Welland
Edited by Elliot Graham
Stephen Norrington
Venom Productions Limited
Distributed by Venom Productions Limited
Palm Pictures
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English

The Last Minute is a 2001 British urban gothic film, written and directed by Stephen Norrington.

It shows a struggling man hitting bottom and finding light in unexpected places, and trying a huge alternative as the solution to his problems while giving up the life he recently found.


The film darkly lampoons success, failure, and show business.[1]

Billy Byrne is famous, the new big thing, yet the film doesn't say what's the great idea that got him there, he is just suddenly on top, everywhere and adored. Women, money, fame, then everything changes and Billy finds himself being rejected, a failure, he is not so good anymore. He turns to friends but they are busy on their own thing. Goes from enjoying luxuries to living in the streets, consuming drugs and finding homeless people giving him some sort of shelter underground, and beyond that: emotional shelter, a tribe. A new woman, a new life underground.

Pay close attention to the black dog appearing on the film when something bad is about to happen, and pay close attention to Billy abilities to affect public lighting due to his "own energy". Billy totally losses his magic and can't even make one single light blink.

Still obsessed with fame and success, tries hard to come up with some magic plan, strategies, communication campaigns (again not clear what's his line of work), and finds friends doing nothing while discovering the one who betrayed his trust. Billy discovers there is more than the idea, the plan, and finds himself talking about semantics, messages and content beyond the words. Seems like a clue on a personal discovery on what path to take.

Here things begin to appear cryptic. Why? because the movie goes on a mission no showing you the protagonist along with more than enough metaphors that can be applied to almost anyone.

Deep in drugs, dirty, stinky and a total disaster finally makes it to the big president of the company to present his great ideas (written on dirty paper) only to find out his old friend now already working with them. Billy argues, and even warns them about the danger and them being dangerous in many ways, but his friend answers "I already know", and claiming it doesn't affects him because he is aware they are using him, just like he is using them (in front of the president).

Billy seems to open his eyes and being unable to explain his idea, gain attention and appearing as a dirty unhealthy drug addict goes to the bathroom to put some more drugs in. In frustration he seems to see the light. He finally comes with the plan of closing a deal with the drugs he gained access to, the deal is accepted and asks for tickets to Greenland so he can leave his dirty life behind and begin a new one on a natural paradise.

The complex metaphors (but clear on screen) present a new Billy willing to give up his world for a new one, includes his new girlfriend on the plan but she appears unable to grasp the concept of freedom and fails to go on with him. Finally opens his eyes leaving everything and everyone behind as a message up to the viewer to elaborate. His new girlfriend rejects the tickets and wants drugs, he leaves on a limousine and begins to take his piercings off. Billy doesn't know, but he is back (as a human being) and while the car drives on the road: all the lights don't blink, but they shut down immediately as a message that he is way better and above from any place he has ever been in life as a person.

The movie ends with him on Greenland, the place of the initial take on the film where hi gives this speech on time, and what would you do on your last minute. Clues were left on different sites on the web about interviews, comments and director hints for better understanding of the movie, difficult to find all that info in just one site.


Billy Byrne (Max Beesley) is obsessed with the ticking clock. He's calculated how many months, weeks and days he has to make his mark on the world (assuming he lives to be 90). Billy is on the verge of becoming the Next Big Thing (although we never actually find out what he does), but gets caught in a downward spiral when his work is poorly received... According to the Internet Movie Database, The Last Minute has only played at film festivals. It's too bad, because the movie is entertaining and could have found an audience had it gotten theatrical release. Hopefully, the new DVD will give it more exposure.

— Movie Habit[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Birgers, Andrea (13 August 2003). "The Last Minute -- DVD Review". Movie Habit. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 

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