‘Last Night in Soho’: Anya Taylor-Joy Performs Eerily Beautiful Update of ‘Downtown’

It’s been nearly five months since we first reported on the upcoming psychological thriller Last Night in Soho – and thoroughly intrigued, we’ve been counting the days until its release. Thankfully, and just in time for Halloween chills, it will at last be arriving in theaters next Friday, October 29.

Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and the recent documentary Sparks Brothers), the story follows a young fashionista named Sandy – played by Peeky Blinders / The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy – who discovers that she is somehow able to transport herself back to swinging 1960s London, with its exhilarating, anything-seems-possible sense of excitement. But what is actually happening and what is merely a product of her imagination, or possibly her dream state, isn’t quite clear, giving the proceedings an intoxicating air of suspense and intrigue. Matt Smith is the mysterious Jack, who seems to have cast a spell over Sandy, though it is likely that certain danger lurks behind the considerable charm.

In the lead up to release date, Focus Features have just released an eerily captivating promotional video of Ms. Taylor-Joy performing the film’s signature song, a haunting update of the Petula Clark classic ‘Downtown’ (from the official soundtrack). And as it turns out, the lyrics could not be more relevant/poignant for our current pandemic-induced predicament, as we struggle out of isolation and back into some new version of our previous social lives.

“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go, Downtown

Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose? The light’s so much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares”

Taylor-Joy’s performance is interspersed with compelling scenes from the film, leaving us all the more anxious for release date. But with her distinct echoes of Julee Cruise, it can’t help but come off a bit David Lynchian – which actually makes us wonder if the exalted director isn’t already recruiting her for a future part.

Still, Last Night in Soho is surely essential viewing for anyone who has ever wished they’d lived through London in ’60s – and we are most definitely counted amongst that group.

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Sandie and Matt Smith as Jack in Edgar Wright’s LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, a Focus Features release. Credit: Parisa Taghizadeh / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC

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