Movie review / ‘Last Christmas’ (PG)

Share Canberra's trusted news:

“Last Christmas” (PG) ***

IT comes but once a year, this originally pagan festival of thanksgiving for the winter solstice that Christianity hijacked to commemorate the more joyous half of its fundamental message and arrant mercantilism later converted back into a travesty of its origins.

In a London arcade, Santa (the winsome Michelle Yeoh) is the proprietor of a shop selling tatty Christmas stuff year round. Her only employee is Kate (Emelia Clarke, probably best known for Daenerys in “Game of Thrones”), daughter of Yugoslavian refugees Ivan (Boris Isakovic) and Petra (Emma Thompson).

In her thirties, Kate is the archetypal daffy blonde who still hasn’t worked out what she wants from life. 

Yes, people. This is Britain’s 2019 Christmas movie. How does it stack up against “Love Actually”, since its release in 2003 the quintessential Xmas rom-com which has found a deserved place in Christmas TV programming? Well, were it not for Emma Thompson, the comparison might have been much more odious, less for her performance here of a somewhat bypassed wife and mother than for the brittle, clever, razor sharp, pointed wit with which she wrote the screenplay that she sent on spec to director Paul Feig.

“Last Christmas” turns out to be a subtle yet merciless, loosely disguised satire on Christmas mercantilism, interwoven with a poignant romantic thread involving Kate and the mysterious Tom (Henry Golding, the handsome son of a Brit father and a Malaysian mom). It’s had a mixed reception in the UK since its release there as well as here. I liked it well enough, but it’s rather a curate’s egg – good in parts, less so in others.

At all cinemas

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

"Last Christmas" (PG) ***
Previous articleMovie review / ‘Happy Sad Man’ (M)
Next articleACT Health CIO receives global leadership award
Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

Leave a Reply