Last Night [Blu-Ray] Massy Tadjedin

Last Night [Blu-Ray] Massy Tadjedin
During a swanky (read: vulgar) workplace cocktail reception, Joanna Reed (Keira Knightley) notices her husband, Michael (Sam Worthington), flirting with one of his commercial real estate co-workers, Laura (Eva Mendes). It's subtle and mostly of the knowing laughter nature, which leads to a later confrontation at home, with Joanna posing the question, "So, why didn't you ever tell me how attractive Laura was?" After a bit of manipulation and a minor temper tantrum, Michael leaves on a business trip with Laura while Joanna stays behind, randomly bumping into her old bourgeois douche bag flame, Alex (Guillaume Canet). Last Night plays out as a series of conversations and moments of quiet sexual tension, with the question of infidelity, and its true definition, poking its head into every discussion and scenario. Michael's attraction to Laura is of a physical nature, never expanding much beyond the carnal, even when she describes what it's like to be cheated on. Conversely, Joanna's flirtation with Alex is one of emotional reliance and intense connection, which, arguably, is an equal, possibly worse, form of cheating. Even though Massy Tadjedin's languid, performance-reliant drama smartly eschews melodrama and related extraneous tactics, keeping everything in mature, adult territory, there's never a sense that these talking heads are complex people with particularly intricate emotions. For instance, Michael never demonstrates any actual human characteristics beyond moderately affable corporate cipher, reacting to everything Joanna throws off him when not similarly finding curiosity with Laura's vague idiosyncrasies, which mask deeper depression. This is why it's hard to buy into Joanna's inner-conflict when she implies that Alex's flakiness is what drove her confidently into Michael's arms. It seems to be romance by virtue of finance, which isn't much less dignified than the posturing, upper class, Bohemian B.S. Alex has to offer. Essentially, there's never a sense that any of these people really care about anything but themselves, no matter how much depth Knightley injects into her failed writer cliché. What's more is that the quiet moments of self-realization and emotional resonance Knightley and Mendes demonstrate are never matched by Canet or Worthington, who just grin and stare blankly, respectively. It's still intriguing to watch, as many of the observing secondary moments show more insight into relationships and human insecurities than the majority of romantically inclined films, but it never quite escapes the trap of surface gender performance. The brief "Making of" expands upon the notion of infidelity and its definition, smartly focusing on inner-sagacity rather than superficial praise. (eOne)