TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Silent Night’

Posted in TIFF 2021 by - September 19, 2021
TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Silent Night’

It’s the end of the world, how would you like to spend it? I’ll probably send it with family since rebellion in my 30s isn’t cool anymore. A couple, Nell and Simon (Keira Knightley) and their son Art (Roman Griffin Davis), decide to invite their friends, all of whom are insufferable. An addition to the group is Sophie (Lily-Rose Depp), who in uncomfortable with the idea that Sandra (Annabelle Wallis) is using the end times to sleep with her husband James (Sope Dirisu).

End of the world movies often go macro, and it’s interesting to see Silent Night use the opposite approach. That’s not to say that there aren’t flaws in taking that direction. It’s all about what one does with fleshing out a premise with a script. I guess it’s inevitable that insufferable characters would reveal truths about themselves, but seeing that unfold still feels trope-y. Sandra discovering that her husband Tony (Rufus Jones) slept with their common lesbian friend Bella (Lucy Punch) feels cliched.

Silent Night, a film about everyone’s last Christmas, asks two more questions. The first question – is it possible to feel bad for insufferable people? Well, in fairness, these characters are still watchable despite of their insufferable nature or maybe even because of it. And the answer, at least here, is yes. The tonal shift from snippy millennial comedy to a drama is a thrilling ride. The second question is whether a final shot can ruin a film. My answer to that is no.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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