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“Last Christmas” You’ll Never Know Where Life Takes You

Review By: John M. Delia, Jr.

This is a heartwarming film about a Yugoslavian girl who is trying to find her way in life and the struggles she comes across along the way. When Yugoslavia was war stricken and hardship fell on a countless number of families, many left the country to places such as London, England. Here they established a new life and the children were brought up under a different culture and lifestyle making communications difficult between parent and child.

A Yugoslavian immigrant that has aspirations of becoming a singer, Kate (Emalia Clarke), is actually struggling with her life and everything seems to be self-destructing. Meanwhile, her family and friends see her as self-absorbed and selfish. Her sister, Marta (Lydia Leonard), an up and coming lawyer who is hiding a secret from her family, struggles with Kate’s lack of ambition in life. Kate has also burned her bridges from her closest friends, because of her own negligence.

On the other hand, Kate is avoiding the ones who would do anything for her and that’s her overbearing mother, Petra (Emma Thompson), and her father, Ivan (Boris Isakovic). She prefers to try and make it on her own, but is having trouble keeping a place to live. Since her father works nights as a cab driver to avoid his wife, she has the luxury of returning home at any time.

Each day Kate takes on her responsibilities at her place of employment, a Christmas Shop. Here she works with the owner and boss of the shop, Santa (Michelle Yeoh), a strong lover of everything Christmas and one of the few friends that still believes in her. While, at work she meets a fella, Tom Webster (Henry Golding), that helps her try and turn her life around. He helps her start to believe that she can change her luck in life by helping others through volunteering, mending her past broken relationships with friends, and starting to believe in herself.

Director Paul Fieg does a great job expressing the struggles that many immigrants face when forced to move to another country. Not only do the people who migrate experience difficulties, but the citizens themselves feel unappreciated as well. Paul shows the light on these types of issues during this very wonderful story. But, he definitely, uses this to better understand his character’s battles. Fieg does also include a very entertaining and uplifting story that may bring some tears to some of us.

This storyline about a girl that is struggling through life but somehow, finds the light to turn herself around is almost a miracle in itself. Well worth seeing this film especially if you love those touching and encouraging type tales.

Final Comment: I based my grade on the excellent storyline that includes the struggles of the characters, and their emotional strength to carry on. 3.5 Stars


Additional Film Information
Cast:  Emalia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Boris Isakovic, Lydia Leonard, and Emma Thompson.
Directed by: Paul Fieg
Genre: Comedy, Drama, and Romance.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content.
Running Time: 1 hour and 42 minutes
Release Date:  November 8, 2019
Distributed By:  Universal Pictures
Release In: Standard and Digital

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