The Reel Review

B-

An aspiring, small town fashion designer obsessed with the 1960s finds her rich fantasy world blurred with reality after she moves into an unusual London flat that is a throwback to that era. Is she losing her mind? Or are her dreams actual visions from the past?

Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie in Last Night in Soho.

This psychological horror/mystery from acclaimed director Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Shaun of the Dead) is stylish and visually dazzling, with evocative period costumes, music and production design. Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) is convincing as the shy, emotionally fragile protagonist Eloise, with a mesmerizing Anya Taylor-Joy as her mysterious, larger than life, but increasingly troubled muse, Sandie. Diana Rigg, Rita Tushingham, Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown) and Terence Stamp round out the supporting cast, with Sam Claflin (Enola Holmes, Adrift) making a brief appearance as one of Sandie’s would-be suitors. 

Matt Lewis and Anya Taylor-Joy in Last Night in Soho.

Despite the film’s cool vibe and impressive visual effects, the story from Wright and Krysty Wilson-Cairns (1917) is as light on substance as it is heavy on style. Imagine 2010’s trippy Black Swan, but with an overcrowded plot that much of the time makes little to no sense. Regardless, Last Night in Soho is still a visual delight and entertaining enough, with a fun and twisty, albeit somewhat hokey ending. 

REEL FACTS

Diana Rigg in Last Night in Soho.

Last Night in Soho was Diana Rigg’s final film. She died of cancer on September 10, 2020 at age 82.

• Director Edgar Wright says George Miller was so impressed by Anya Taylor-Joy while watching an early rough cut of the film that he hired her for his Mad Max: Fury Road prequel Furiosa, scheduled for release in 2024.

• Thomasin MacKenzie dropped out of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick to star in this film.

 

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