Last Night 2.0 stars

Synopsis

The title refers not to the night before today, but to the last night ever. At midnight, the world is scheduled to come to an end, never mind how or why. That's simply a given. The characters all accept it. There is no struggle against the inevitable. There is only the question of how to pass the hours. An unseen radio deejay counts down the Top 500 songs (according to him) of all time. An aspiring concert pianist plans a public recital. A gas company executive (David Cronenberg, taking the job seriously) phones up each of his customers individually to thank them for their business. A penthouse playboy hurries to fulfill his every last sexual fantasy. A married woman (the superb Sandra Oh, in her largest big-screen role since Double Happiness) is having a devil of a time getting across town with two handguns and a bottle of cheap wine, to keep her suicide pact with her husband. A family gets together to celebrate Christmas, although it is not Christmas. One member chooses to brave the protests and leave early to be alone. The viewer will naturally have his own ideas, and he is bound to find points of harmony and discord with the choices of the assembled characters. This modest Canadian production, shot in Toronto, is the directing debut of its star, Don McKellar, a face most likely to be familiar to an American audience because of its resemblance to Bronson Pinchot's, but it might also be recognizable from Exotica, The Red Violin, Cronenberg's eXistenZ, or elsewhere. His treatment of the subject is so small-scale, so low-key, so laid-back, so wry, so Canadian maybe, as to seem a little inadequate to the occasion. The final image, summing up a good deal about the human condition, is surprisingly potent. With Callum Keith Rennie, Sarah Polley, Genevieve Bujold.

Duncan Shepherd

Rated: R

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