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Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy star as Last Night In Soho shows Soho's seedy Sixties underbelly



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Film review: Last Night In Soho (18), The Light Cinema, Wisbech, out now

Starring: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg and Terence Stamp.

Running time: 1hr 56m Director: Edgar Wright

Last Night In Soho
Last Night In Soho

Two stars of the Sixties aptly feature in this psychological horror, which flits between modern day London and the city in its swinging heyday, but it’s the current up and coming talents who steal the show.

Diana Rigg, of The Avengers fame, and Terence Stamp, who won a Golden Globe for the film Billy Budd, show all their years of experience in wonderful performances. Indeed, this was Rigg’s last ever appearance on the big screen before succumbing to cancer a year ago.

However, it’s Thomasin McKenzie as aspiring fashion designer Eloise, Anya Taylor-Joy as Sixties wannabe-singer Sandie and Matt Smith as cruel pimp Jack who really bring this film alive.

The plot sees Eloise, who we already know regularly has visions of her dead mum, mysteriously able to enter the glamorous, swinging 1960s, where she encounters dazzling, confident and sexy singer Sandie.

But the glamour is a shield masking the dark, seedy and misogynistic underbelly of Sixties Soho.

As Sandie is dragged ever deeper into despair and degradation, Eloise is a silent witness to the horror. One of my favourite songs – A Rainy Night In Soho by The Pogues – romanticizes the area. This film certainly does not.

Set to a wonderful Sixties soundtrack with music by the likes of Dusty Springfield, The Kinks, Cilla Black and Sandie Shaw, it hurtles along and the horror is ramped up in the final third as we reach an ending no-one could have predicted.

McKenzie convincingly portrays the wide eyed Eloise as the visions she is haunted by threaten to derail her mind and Taylor is on the same enigmatic pedestal she inhabits in Peaky Blinders and The Queen’s Gambit. And for those of us who have only seen Smith as the affable, quirky star of Doctor Who, he totally nails the role of the charming, sinister Jack.

Always in the background, brooding, is Stamp’s unnamed character, and Rigg’s major part in proceedings only becomes clear as the plot draws to a close.

By Jeremy Ransome

Rating: 8/10.

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