Last Night in Soho Review

Edgar Wright has dabbled in a bunch of different genres in his career from the comedy series known as The Cornetto Trilogy, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (based on a popular manga of the same name), and the critically acclaimed and widely popular action thriller Baby Driver. Not all have been well received, but you can’t deny him the fact that he takes chances. Last Night in Soho is another genre he’s dabbling in. He hasn’t tried his hand at full-on horror yet in his career, even though Shaun of the Dead had some horror elements in it. 

Last Night in Soho is about a young college-age woman (Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit) who aspires to be a fashion designer. She gets accepted into a fashion school in the Soho area of London. This world is more than she bargained for as she starts to have dreams of a voluptuous young singer (Anya Taylor-Joy). The dreams start to get to her and her whole world starts to fracture around her. 

Wright liked to take chances on his films and Last Night in Soho is no different than a couple of his other films in that regard. This film has photo-realistic dream sequences that keep the viewer engaged throughout the film. How the fashion designer sees the singer and what she’s going through is something to behold. The editing process had to be extensive. How these sequences came together I’ll never know. I will say they are amazing to watch, flipping back and forth between the ’60s and the present day.

This film wouldn’t work without the two leading ladies, though. McKenzie and Taylor-Joy are all in on this masterclass of filmmaking. They believe in the material on the script and both sell their parts perfectly. Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Terrance Stamp (Superman 2), and Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones) in her last role were also all fantastic in the film. Each actor gives very believable performances that sell the story and what the director Wright is going for.

One of the hallmarks of an Edgar Wright film is its soundtrack. This film has an amazing soundtrack. Songs such as “Love is Like a Heatwave” by The Who, “I’ve Got My Mind Set on You” by James Ray, “Don’t Throw Your Love Away” by The Searchers, and “You’re My World by Cilla Black” are just a few of the amazing songs that ring through this film. “Downtown” by Paula Clark was much appreciated by this lover of the classics.

All good or great films have to have a style to them and this film has a style all its own. Nobody will touch it! The style is so fresh and vibrant, it’s almost unheard of to see a film that looks this beautiful and full of life. From the ’60s shots of all the lit-up signs at night to the dream sequences to the nightlife in bars and nightclubs. This film has a look of nothing I’ve ever seen before. I was glued to the screen on all of this beautifully lit scenery. 

This film has a look that is just gorgeous. It is so beautiful to look at from the beginning to the end. That’s not all that’s gorgeous. The costumes and hairstyles and clothes of the characters, especially Anya Taylor Joy and Matt Smith. With a subplot about fashion, Wright doesn’t skimp on that at all in the film. It helps bring the ’60s to life. And the present day isn’t anything to sneeze at either.

This film has a twist in the plot that no one will see coming from a mile away. It’s a very nice story. The fact that these two different periods are intertwined so well and they both work seamlessly is a testament to Wright’s writing skills. He keeps the audience guessing while giving them more and more with each scene that unfolds in the film. He’s a master craftsman as far as screenwriting goes. He’s not bad as a director either.

Last Night in Soho has so much going for it: great acting by its two leads as well as supporting cast, great cinematography by Chung-hoon Chung, the streets are lit up incredibly well and this film looks vibrant and colorful, the dream sequences are melded nicely with the real-world sequences, the color palette throughout the film is gorgeous, and the soundtrack is so enjoyable to listen to as well. Wright has made a time-warping fever dream of a film that keeps the viewer on their seat throughout. I’m looking forward to what other genres he decided to dabble in next.

4 1/2 Stars

Dan Skip Allen

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