Doubt and infidelity for Knightley, Mendes in Last Night
by Vittoria Scarpa
28/10/2010 - In Last Night [trailer], Sam Worthington and Keira Knightley play Michael and Joanna, a young married couple living in New York City. One night at a party Joanna notices Michael noticing a new, attractive co-worker, Laura (Eva Mendes), which prompts a fight when they return home.
The next day, Michael leaves on a business trip with Laura. Joanna remains in the city and randomly runs into her old flame Alex (Guillaume Canet). From that moment, the film splits into two, with audiences remaining on the edge of their seats almost to the very end: which of the two will betray the other?
The feature debut by Iranian-American screenwriter Massy Tadjedi – produced by France’s Gaumont and the opening film of the 5th Rome International Film Festival (October 28 - November 5) – is a subtle story on all that goes unsaid between men and women, desire, suspicion and physical and mental betrayal.
Knightley and Mendes were in Rome to present the film. "I immediately fell in love with the screenplay,” said Knightley, whose performance here is intense and sensual, and whom it is a joy to see in modern clothes after so many period films. "The approach is not moralistic, the audience is free to think what they want. Even I, during the shoot, was one day inclined towards betrayal, the next day towards fidelity".
"I didn’t want to accentuate my character’s sensuality,” said Mendes, speaking of her role of a fragile seductress. "I tried to avoid the stereotypes of the sexy office girl. So, hair up and no low necklines".
For his part, Canet said he was happy to have played "the sensitive side of men” and, in particular, of having found an English-language role in which he didn’t have to appear as the "a somewhat idiotic Frenchman".
Above everything stands out a director who pays attention to detail, made up of close-ups concentrated on the actors’ movements and expressions. "We rehearsed a lot,” said the director. "I wanted to present the routine of marriage, before the night in which everything happens. Kind of like Kubrick in Eyes Wide Shut, one of my favorite films".
(Translated from Italian)