Infidelity and sexual temptation are understandably rich and frequently utilized dramatic devices, but writer-director Massy Tadjedin’s evocative and engaging Last Night is a much more interesting, intellectually ambitious and emotionally honest exploration of refracted desire than almost all of its recent cheating-hearts cinematic brethren. A well-acted dramatic roundelay of enticement starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet, the film stands out as a rare example of a work more interested in evoking universal thoughtfulness than telling its audience what to think.
In her feature directorial debut, Tadjedin, the screenwriter of The Jacket, shows a remarkable psychological insight into both men and women, as well as considerable trust in her material, by having all of her characters speak relatively openly and honestly. She is interested in neither subterfuge nor judgment, but instead the human condition. Last Night is characterized by honest adult exchanges about romantic and sexual craving, and there’s an erotic charge to the dialogue without it ever becoming tawdry. Tadjedin also spotlights in savvy fashion two different types of temptation — the potential thrill of someone new, and the allure of someone with whom circumstances never quite properly aligned. For the full, original review, from Screen International, click here. (Tribeca Film, R, 93 minutes)