The actress, already an absolute star, Anya Taylor-Joy has been crowned in Edgar Wright’s psychological nightmare ‘Last Night in Soho’. And we take a look at the HBO mini-series ‘Secrets of a marriage’, which revisits Ingmar Bergman
There was a desire, many, to see, Last Night in Soho the new film by the British director Edgar Wright (1974) at the Venice Film Festival. The director is responsible for the annals of the history of the call Cornetto Trilogy, a perfect mix of fantastic cinema and comedy, which make up Zombies Party (2004), Fatal weapon (2007) and Welcome to the end of the world (2013), and it is also who, with his last film to date, Baby Driver (2017) , had known how to get along the most pulp apparatus of contemporary film noir with structure and staging of classical music.
It is about a filmmaker who has not stopped growing, and who has presented at the Mostra Last night in Soho, from an own script in collaboration with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (responsible for the war script of Sam Mendes 1917 (2019)). The director has also sent the Venice Film Festival a statement asking all those who saw the film (press, guests and public) not to reveal the twists of the plot to preserve the surprise of future viewers, so we will respect their maximum petition.
The plot synopsis of Last night in Soho tells of the arrival in London of a young village girl with the intention of studying “Fashion Art” (the “Tailoring” of a lifetime). Elloise (Thomasin McKenzie), after fleeing the university residence, ends up staying in the room that an old woman (mythical Diana Rigg) rents in her old house in Soho. Something strange happens, however, when the young woman falls asleep in her room, In her vivid dreams, she is transferred to the London of the 60s – a time that fascinates her and from which she does not stop playing vinyl throughout the film – where she is transmuted into Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy), also a young newcomer to London who dreams of becoming a singer and dancer at the best club in the city …
Fantastic close to terror
The fantastic, in its generic side closer to terror, mainly psychological, but there are also touches of ghost stories and brushstrokes of yellow a sharp knife digging into the flesh, then takes over the film that, until that moment and as in the aforementioned Baby Driver, it looked like an undercover musical.
Only the first sequence with McKenzie dancing and singing at home in a dress made of newspaper as the film credits roll in already puts a smile on your face. But it is that when Taylor-Joy Wright appears he makes her dance (with Matt Smith, the former Doctor Who) and sing, covering the Downtown From Petula Clark, I have already understood that I had nothing to do but relax and enjoy. It is clear that the actress of Lady’s Gambit (2020) is living a magnificent moment and just seeing her move around the plane wasting mojo and sensitivity is a real rampage.
When the fantastic makes its way into Last Night in Soho the change is subtle but categorical. Is what we see real or is the protagonist imagining / dreaming it? The turn towards terror does not entail an aesthetic change: the flow of images remains unchanged
Wright changes genres (or mixes them) without changing his staging. In such a way that everything is both real and perversely telluric. The nightmare will gain ground until that Soho that seemed so attractive at the beginning becomes something really terrifying, turning all his plot twists and generic stunts into a perfectly oiled mechanism that ends up shaping one of the best films we’ve seen at this festival. Also, Terence Stamp comes out.
‘Secrets of a marriage’
We close with a series or, rather, HBO mini-series, Secrets of a marriage, remake of the homonymous film summit (Secrets of a marriage) by Ingmar Bergman in 1973. Obviously, Bergman’s work had already planned through the seams of the magnificent movie of Noah Baumbach Story of a marriage (2019), but it is in this series where the original script of the Swedish master is translated as is.
In this new version Oscar Isaac -third time we see him in Venice after Dune y The Card Counter– and Jessica Chastain they inherit the papers that they would embroider in their day Erland Josephson and Liv Ullman And, practically, we can say that it is in his work where the best of the product resides.
The series director, Hagai Levi, is the man behind other successful television products such as In therapy (2008) the The Affair (2014), and seeks to adapt Bergman’s story respecting the text and long shots without cuts where the actors seem to feel more at ease.
Abyssal drama of a couple in crisis, obviously, loses by KO in front of their referent –moreover: Bergman hated the human being, his characters were cruel to the core and rejoiced when they caused pain; something that here is quite unlikely to happen-, But even if the viewer does not know the previous work, he manages to connect with the open-channel pain of characters as fragile as, deep down, we all are.
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