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Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg, Rita Tushingham, Terence Stamp, Jessie Mei Li, Michael Ajao, Synnøve Karlsen, Lisa McGrills, Margaret Nolan
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Psychological thriller directed and co-written by Edgar Wright. Last Night in Soho (2021) focuses on Eloise (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), an aspiring fashion designer, who mysteriously is able to enter 1960s London, where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer, Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy). But soon she begins to realize that the glamour is not all it appears to be, and the past and present seem to fall apart with shady and horrifying consequences.
Peggy: [referring to Eloise going to London] You’ve got to be careful. There’s lots of bad people. They’re bad apples!
Eloise: I’m scrappy. I can take them.
Peggy: I’m just saying, London can be a lot. It was too much for your mum, perhaps, and she didn’t have your gift.
Eloise: My gift?
Peggy: She didn’t feel things. See things like you do. I worry you’ll get all overwhelmed again.
Taxi Driver: First time?
Eloise: I visited once with my mum, but I was small. It looks so different now.
Taxi Driver: It changes fast, alright. But don’t you worry, love. It’s still the same old London underneath.
Eloise: [referring to the name label] Did they spell your surname wrong or something?
Jocasta: Oh, no, I’ve just decided to drop it because I feel like it’s way more singular to be known by just your Christian name. You know, like so famous in your work that you can actually just go by Kylie.
Jocasta: Okay. Bad example. But how many Jocastas do you know?
Cami: So you guys know each other from before?
Jocasta: Oh, yeah. We go way back. What is it, like fifteen minutes?
Eloise: Yeah, something like that.
Jocasta: We’re in the Dead Mums Club.
Jocasta: [Eloise overhears the girls talking about her] She’s such a code beige, I’m getting these like born-again Christian vibes off her.
Cami: Who, Country Mouse?
Jocasta: She comes to her first day at LCF wearing clothes she f***ing made.
Ashley: Yeah, that was a bit much.
Jocasta: Bringing up her mum’s suicide. I’m sorry, but like who the f*** does that for attention?
Lara: Yeah, right.
Ashley: She’s a bit weird.
Jocasta: She’s a lot f***ing weird. I’d lay bets on her slashing her wrists before Christmas.
Ms. Collins: Room is on the top floor. I have a few rules. Don’t take smokers.
Eloise: I don’t smoke.
Ms. Collins: No male visitors after eight o’clock.
Eloise: Not a problem.
Ms. Collins: And no using the laundry room at night. It rattles right through to mine.
Eloise: I don’t do laundry.
Ms. Collins: Hey?
Eloise: I mean, I don’t do night time laundry. I do do laundry. I’m very clean.
Ms. Collins: Good.
Ms. Collins: I used to work here, cleaning and such, back when round here was a bad spot. I bought it for buttons off the old owner.
Eloise: Must be worth a lot now.
Ms. Collins: Oh, I could never sell it. Too many memories.
Eloise: If I could live any place and any time, I’d live here, in London in the ’60s. It must have felt like the center of the universe.
'This is London. Someone's died in every room, in every building, in this whole city. Every street corner too.' - Ms. Collins (Last Night in Soho) Click To Tweet
Ms. Collins: You’re not in any trouble, are you?
Eloise: No. No, I just need an escape.
Ms. Collins: Oh, don’t we all, deary.
Jack: [after Elloise is transported to the 1960s] Well, hello there.
Sandie: The bar tender said I should get to know the handsome fella standing next to Cilla Black.
Jack: You should. And you are?
Sandie: The next Cilla Black.
Jack: Are you now? Well, you know, she started out as a coat check girl. You willing to work your way up?
Sandie: Of course.
Jack: So what do you do, Sandie?
Sandie: Well, I sing, of course.
Jack: How’s your dancing?
Sandie: Care for a demonstration?
Sandie: [as they’re dancing] Your thoughts?
Jack: You’re already a star. But you could be an old lady before you get onstage here.
Jack: Least I can do is drive you home.
Sandie: Oh, what’s the most?
Jack: Being here with all these lights shining on you, it’s the closest most people ever get to being onstage. You know, to their dreams.
Sandie: Not me.
Jack: Not you. I can see you want it.
Sandie: More than anything.
Jack: Well, this is just a taste of things to come, Sandie.
Jack: So, I’ll see you again?
Sandie: I hope so.
Jack: Tomorrow, 8:00 PM?
Sandie: You know where to find me.
Eloise: There’s just something about the ’60s that speaks to me.
Jack: [as Eloise is back in the ’60’s again] I’m sorry I’m a little late.
Sandie: “A little” doesn’t quite cover it.
Jack: I’ve got a feeling you’ll forgive me.
'I'm not going to prison. I've been in a prison all my life.' - Ms. Collins (Last Night in Soho) Click To Tweet
Sandie: [after her auditions at a Soho nightclub] It’s perfect, Jack. Thank you.
Jack: Well, like I said, least I can do.
Sandie: Much better than being a coat check girl. And we all have to start somewhere.
Jack: Indeed, we do.
Jack: Anything else you need?
Sandie: A manager. Know anyone?
Jack: I think I can manage you.
Sandie: [as they’re about to sleep together] Just as long as you’re in it for the long run.
Jack: Sandie, I’m with you till the end.
Peggy: [after Eloise dyes her hair blonde] I’m just glad you’re finding yourself in London, Eloise.
Eloise: Gran, it’s everything I ever dreamed of.
Ms. Tobin: So, you imagine the wearer when you’re designing?
Eloise: When I see someone in it, when I imagine it, she’s wearing the dress. The dress isn’t wearing her.
Eloise: Could I get a Vesper?
Carol: This isn’t Mayfair, darling. Have you ever even worked in a pub before?
Eloise: No. But we all have to start somewhere.
Silver Haired Gentleman: I’m not trying to pick you up, sweetheart. Don’t worry.
Eloise: I’m not worried.
Silver Haired Gentleman: You look familiar to me. Who’s your mother?
Eloise: My mother’s dead.
Silver Haired Gentleman: I thought she might be. Most of them are.
Jack: Where’s my Sandie? Come on, night’s not over yet. Open up.
Eloise (Sandie): What do you want?
Jack: Don’t talk daft. You know.
Sandie: Jack, I don’t want to do this.
Jack: You told me you were serious about being a performer. So if you want to keep doing it, then these are the kind of men that you need to keep happy. The men you really need to perform for.
Sandie: No, Jack.
Jack: Everybody else is doing it. What makes you so special?
Jack: This is just a taste of things to come, Sandie.
Eloise: What do you want?
John: Well, I heard you work here now. And I was going for a drink, so I thought, kill two birds with one stone. Just because you seemed a little upset in class today. And I thought maybe I could swing by, see how you were getting on.
Eloise: Thanks. I meant, what do you want to drink?
Eloise: I’m just a bit overwhelmed at the moment. London can be a lot.
John: I get it. Coming to the city can be a bit of a nightmare. Honestly, I’d be lying if I said I had the best time in North London so far.
John: [to Eloise] I know what it’s like to feel like you don’t belong. And I’m a good listener, if you ever want to talk.
Carol: [to Eloise, referring to the punters] They’re meant to talk to you about their problems, not the other way round.
Eloise: I needed to get a place of my own.
Peggy: Did something happen? Did you see her again?
Eloise: No. No, mum’s not here with me.
Peggy: Then what is it?
Peggy: [referring to her mum Eloise’s mother] I know you think you have something to prove, but it’s okay to ask for help. She didn’t.
Eloise: How do you know my name?
Silver Haired Gentleman: I make it my business to know all the pretty girls around here. All their problems. Always have done.
Eloise: Do you believe in spirits?
Carol: What kind of a question is that? That brown stuff pays your wages.
Eloise: I mean, do you believe in ghosts?
Carol: Ghosts? No. Why? Are you scared down here? If this place is haunted by anything, it’s the good times. When it’s empty, all I hear is the laughs. Every gangster, every copper, every red-faced lush has been in here. And all those high spirits have soaked into the walls. You could probably get drunk on just that.
Jack: [to Sandie] You know how to dance. You know why you’re here. Get on with it.
Young Silver Haired Gentleman: You’re too good for this, Sandie. Pretty little thing like you, laying in the gutter. I’d get out while you can, girl. You’re better than this.
Sandie: I don’t think I am.
Young Silver Haired Gentleman: Of course you are. Just look in the mirror.
Sandie: What if I don’t want to?
Young Silver Haired Gentleman: Then maybe it’s too late for you.
Eloise: I don’t want to be like this.
John: Like what?
Eloise: I just wish I was like everybody else.
John: I’m glad you’re not.
John: [after Eloiose kisses him] Do you want to go somewhere else?
Eloise: I’m not meant to have guys back.
John: Oh. Okay.
Eloise: So you’ll have to be quiet.
John: You don’t just want to go to sleep?
Eloise: No, I really don’t want to go to sleep.
John: Well, I can keep you up. Oh, what am I saying?
Jack: [as Eloise has visions of Jack trying to hurt Sandie] Who would even want you? You belong to me! I own you! Don’t you ever disobey me.
Eloise: Sorry. For everything.
Ms. Collins: It won’t happen again, will it?
Eloise: No. I’ll pay for the mirror too.
Ms. Collins: We all pay for a broken mirror, deary.
Eloise: Did a girl live upstairs before?
Ms. Collins: Lots of girls have lived here over the years.
Eloise: Someone called Sandie?
Ms. Collins: Lots of girls have lived here over the years, and not all of them with their real names.
Eloise: Did someone die in my room?
Ms. Collins: This is London. Someone’s died in every room, in every building, in this whole city. Every street corner too. Oh, and speaking of which, I would have killed your gentleman friend last night if I’d caught him. So count yourself lucky, broken mirror or not.
Detective: [to Eloise] Just so I’ve got this straight, you witnessed the murder last night, but you believe this was a vision from the past. The murder of a young woman in the mid to late 1960s, by a man you believe to be her pimp.
Eloise: It started before last night. When I was sober, I saw landmarks in my dreams. Details of nightclubs, places that I’d never been to before, and then I saw those details in real life. I know something bad happened to this girl, because I have these visions, these visions of the past. Ever since I moved to London, I keep seeing Sandie. That’s the murdered girl.
Eloise: I know who the killer is. It’s her boyfriend, and her pimp, Jack. I’ve seen him in the present day.
Eloise: Look, my point is I’ve seen Jack. I’ve seen the killer as an old man around Soho.
Detective: Can you narrow down “around Soho”?
Eloise: He drinks at The Toucan.
Detective: I think we’ve got all we need.
Detective: [Eloise overhears the detective] And then she says the killer drinks at The Touca, and narrows it down to me, you, and the whole rest of Soho. Yeah, I’m sitting there thinking, “This is complete bulls**t, darling.”
Eloise: Last night, I saw something. In the bedroom, from the past.
John: What did you see?
Eloise: A girl was stabbed. There’s a girl that used to live in my room. Sandie. The guy that killed her is still out there. So I’m looking for murdered women, and missing persons from the ’60s to try and find out her name. And if I don’t, I’m going to lose my mind. Maybe I already have. Feel free to run a mile now.
Sandie: What happened to me?
Jack: [to Sandie] Where do you think you’re going? You think you can just walk away?
Silver Haired Gentleman: Carol was worried about you. Thought you’d gone missing. I told her no one ever really disappears. They’re always around somewhere.
Eloise: I’m right here.
Silver Haired Gentleman: Aren’t you just?
Eloise: I hear you were quite the ladies man.
Silver Haired Gentleman: Were? How dare you? Still am. You never lose it.
Eloise: You knew a lot of the girls round here?
Silver Haired Gentleman: A lot of them? I knew all of them.
Silver Haired Gentleman: Who didn’t know Sandie?
Silver Haired Gentleman: Sandie, she was special though. She didn’t belong. I thought she was too good for it. But, you know, at the end of the day, you all look the same on a slab.
Eloise: I know what you did.
Silver Haired Gentleman: I’ve done a lot of things, Eloise. You’re going to have to be more specific, love.
Eloise: I know what you did to Sandie.
Silver Haired Gentleman: Do you, now?
Eloise: I saw her. I see her. I know what happened.
Silver Haired Gentleman: Well, whatever happened to Sandie, she brought it on herself.
Eloise: But no one deserves that.
Silver Haired Gentleman: Listen. I know where you live, Eloise. And I don’t know what you’ve seen or heard, but I can tell you Sandie ended up exactly where she wanted to be. Funny you mention her though, because the first thing I did when I dragged myself back to this miserable smoke, was to look up her old bones. But turns out some people don’t want to be found.
Eloise: But you killed her.
Silver Haired Gentleman: You think I killed Sandie?
Eloise: I know you did!
Silver Haired Gentleman: I think you’ll find Alex killed Sandie.
Silver Haired Gentleman: You think she was an angel, but don’t be fooled.
Eloise: I’m recording this. You won’t get away with it!
Silver Haired Gentleman: So what? I do what I like in this manor.
Eloise: The police know! I told them!
Silver Haired Gentleman: Like I give a flying f***.
Eloise: Look, wait!
Silver Haired Gentleman: When you see Alex, in whatever little hell she’s currently in, you tell her I said hello.
[he’s suddenly gets hit by a car]
Eloise: He’s police?
Carol: Yeah, he’s ex-vice. He used to be a copper in Soho for years and years, working the red light district, and now look at him.
Eloise: Then his name’s not Jack?
Carol: Jack? No, love. That’s Lindsay.
Eloise: I’m scared here.
John: I’ll take you back to yours.
Eloise: No, I want to go home. Home, home. I need to get out of London.
Ms. Collins: [referring to Eloise’s room] You’d been saying a girl died up there.
Ms. Collins: Oh. It’s funny because there is some truth in it. I hadn’t thought about it until you brought it up, but a girl did die up there, I suppose. The young me that came to this big city.
Ms. Collins: [after it’s revealed that she is Sandie] I had hopes and dreams like you. I wanted to be a singer. I wanted to perform. To act. Being a whore is a bit like being an actress, I suppose. You have to pretend you’re someone else. Someone that’s not you. I’d pretend I was somewhere else. That this wasn’t happening to me. Try and forget all those all those men. Their faces.
Ms. Collins: So, yes, you could say Sandie died in that room. She died in that room a hundred times. And then one night, the man who put me there, the man who put me to work, the man who stole my dream, well, I put a knife in him a hundred times.
Ms. Collins: It felt right, Ellie. All those b****rds who came ringing my bell, creeping up my stairs, they sent me to hell. So, I sent them to theirs. The papers call them missing persons. As far as I’m concerned, they were already lost. So they don’t know where they are. I say they didn’t know who they were. I was doing everyone a favor.
Ms. Collins: I wasn’t going to be used anymore. I wasn’t going to let this city break me.
Ms. Collins: [referring to the police] They think you’re mad. And it’s not like you’re going to tell anyone else.
Eloise: No. No, I’m not. Of course not. I would never.
Ms. Collins: No. I mean, I know you’re not going to tell anyone else.
[then reveals she’d drugged Eloise’s tea]
Jack: [Ms. Collins sees the ghost of Jack] I’m with you till the end, Sandie. You were the one who wanted this. More than anything, you said.
Ms. Collins: I didn’t want any of this.
Eloise: I know. I saw.
Ms. Collins: They deserved it.
Eloise: I know.
Ms. Collins: I’m not going to prison. I’ve been in a prison all my life.
[tries to slit her own throat, but Eloise stops her]
Eloise: You don’t have to do this, Sandie. You can live. Please live.
Sandie: You have to let go! Leave!
Sandie: You can’t save me. Save yourself. Save the boy. Go!
[she stays in the building as it burns]
Peggy: [referring to Eloise’s fashion show] I’m just so happy I was here to see it.
Eloise: I know. I’m glad I’m here to see it too.
Peggy: And you don’t need me to say this, but your mum would have been so proud of you.
Eloise: I know she is.
[she turns to see Sandie in the mirror who waves at her and blows her a kiss]