Last Night in Soho tells the story of Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), a young woman who moves from the English countryside to study fashion in London. Struggling to adjust to life in the big city, Eloise feels ostracized by the school elite and its hierarchy of cliques so she decides to rent a flat in Soho. Here, her life is changed forever when she becomes psychologically linked with Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy), a vibrant and energetic singer who lives in 1966. Passionate about the era’s music and flair, the 60s have always inspired Eloise and the experience invigorates her work in the present. However, as Sandy’s dreamy lifestyle is revealed to be a nightmare, the present and past collide into a vivid swirl of horror.
Directed by Edgar Wright and co-written by Kristy Wilson-Cairns, Last Night in Soho is both visual treat and terrifying trauma at the same time. In Soho, they have created a story that is entirely unique and speaks to the power of the ghosts that haunts us. Visually and sonically, Soho is an absolute delight. Though the past is viewed at first with a lens of affection, Wright never allows the viewer to get too comfortable there. An ode to psychedelic filmmaking of a bygone era, Wright strips the style down into its horror elements as reality and the dream world blur together and unravel.
As such, Last Night in Soho is very much a film that wants to elevate the stories of women of the past, especially those who have experienced trauma in a male dominated society. As Eloise ventures more deeply into the story of Sandy, her heart breaks for the sparkling young vision of a woman who lost her innocence. Although no one knows who she is today, her story still matters.
Last Night in Soho premiered at TIFF ’21 on Friday, September 10th, 2021.