Last Night in Soho – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 56 minutes
Ellie Turner dances in her bedroom and listens to 60s music when she sees her mother’s reflection in her mirror. Ellie believes it’s a sign of good news. Then Ellie’s grandmother, Peggy, calls Ellie downstairs. Ellie got an acceptance letter from the London College of Fashion. Peggy is proud but worried. When Ellie’s mother went to London, her ‘gift’ overcame her, and she killed herself. Peggy begs Ellie to take care of herself because she has the same ‘gift’ for seeing ghosts. Ellie sees her mom all the time. Ellie promises to call and keep Peggy up to date no matter what happens. Upon arriving at the dorms, Ellie meets her roommate, Jocasta, another aspiring fashion designer. The girls quickly bond over their deceased mothers, but Ellie discovers that Jocasta is a frienemy. Soon, Ellie wants to get away from their toxic behavior and finds a room for rent. Ellie rents a room from Ms. Collins and gets comfortable. On her first night in the house, Ellie dreams she is in 1960s London. And when Ellie looks at her reflection, Ellie sees a young blonde girl. The girl’s name is Sandie, and she went to the Cafe de Paris to find the owner. Sandie wants to become a singer and take over the London night scene. The bartender tells Sandie the owner isn’t there but a manager, Jack, is looking for new talent. Sandie makes her way over to Jack, and he quickly takes notice. Soon they are on the dance floor, kissing and running away after Jack defends Sandie’s honor.
Then Ellie wakes up and goes to class. Jocasta spots a hickey on Ellie’s neck, and Ellie remembers it’s from Jack kissing Sandie. Soon, Ellie dyes her hair, dresses, and talks like Sandie. The next night, Ellie watches as Jack gets Sandie an audition at a club, and Sandie wows the owner. As Sandie wows in the past, Ellie’s 1960s inspired fashion impresses her teacher. Ellie can’t wait to go home and go back to sleep. When she is fast asleep, Ellie is in the audience. She expects to see Sandie front and center, singing for the world to see. But Sandie is another chorus girl in the burlesque show. Sandie’s dream is a nightmare that will leave her looking at the business end of a knife. This stab into reality will haunt Ellie until she learns what happened to Sandie and the man responsible.
This film mixes the paranormal with teen angst and mystery. As Ellie looks at Sandie’s life through Sandie’s eyes, Ellie is envious of Sandie’s tenacity. When she learns the path Sandie’s life spiraled into, Ellie stands outside of Sandie’s body. Ellie doesn’t see glamor and fame, but she sees the pain, addiction, and dirty money. Being on the outside allowed Ellie to be more critical of Sandie instead of admiring her. Like the saying goes, ‘Don’t meet your heroes.’ This movie gently weaves Ellie’s current life with Sandie’s past using music and fashion. The film transports you when Ellie flashes back to Sandie’s life. But you will slam back into reality when Sandie’s pain haunts Ellie in the present. And the edits between Sandie and Ellie are flawless. When Sandie’s end comes across the scene, it will be a poetic justice you were not expecting. While the film does feel long and has an unnecessary romance, it is highly entertaining and will make you want to do a double-take.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
Save yourself – Ms. Collins
Care for a demonstration – Sandie
It’s the least I could do – John
London’s a bad place – Ellie
It’s ok to ask for help – Peggy