Having not seen any of her work in the HBO series, I'm not all that familiar with the buzz on the lady.
His and her hidden truths take their time tumbling out, delayed by frustratingly contrived plotting. Clark was one of the movie's very few bright spots.
Clark is cast as the irresponsible Kate. The regal Michelle Yeoh plays Kate's boss, and there's a clever joke where she explains she chose "Santa" as her Anglicized name so that her Christmas shop would play better to customers. It's owned by a lady who goes by the name of Santa.
Clarke's acting yo-yos from great to awful but when she's good, she nails it, like in a standout moment when Kate opens up to Tom, voicing for the first time since a life-saving heart transplant the imposter syndrome and depression she's been battling.
She avoids her controlling, insane immigrant mom. The same goes for her judgmental sister. If either can be avoided, that's ideal. Their relationship is complex and is one of the reasons Kate is so complex. He's packed with dimensions in men that she's never seen or experienced.
Complicated love. Tom shows up on a bicycle once in awhile, talks to her, teaches her and then disappears for days. He's only available to her when he's wants and not when she wants him. He bicycles in and out of the story playing Tom as a positive to Clark's often negatively short-circuited Kate. Suddenly on hand to help her do just that is the dashing Tom (Henry Golding from Crazy Rich Asians), a free-spirited bike messenger who catches sight of her in full elf gear outside the store and leads her on odysseys through London's parks and alleyways. And though "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away / This year, to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone special", is a bittersweet lyric, it does play a huge role in Paul Feig's holiday romantic comedy Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. As it is, the film is simply a trite rehash, recalling the stale charm of listening to the same Wham! song on the radio played one too many times over. So what? No one in the movie really matters other than Clark. Not Thompson. Not anyone.
The touching scene sees the protagonist breaking down as she finally pauses to comprehend what she's been through and how her approach to life has been impacted. In fact, Clark is so good, you don't even care that the ending is a bit heavy-handed. Unfortunately, it won't be a movie that fans of Christmas flicks return to, year after year. Clarke is a great lead, and shows off a different side to her acting chops than what we've encountered before.
Last Christmas is in theatres this weekend.
If you've not yet watched the trailers to this film - I strongly recommend going in blind.
Put Christmas in a title and it's irresistible. I actually think that this was a device that was underused, especially as the film draws into the meatier part of the plot. Last Christmas is released in cinemas on 15th November. Of course, they start to fall in something like love, or so Kate thinks.
But wait. He also did the redo of "Ghostbusters" and "Spy". So what you're faced with is a 50-50 shot of "Last Christmas" being worthy of not being the "last" Christmas. This won't be a Christmas classic; but it'll certainly get you in the holiday spirit. The 50 that's good is really, really good. There's an attempt at adding some depth to Last Christmas's proceedings by placing the story in the midst of Brexit and mounting tensions around "the other", but this and other secondary storylines really only serve as a conduit to Kate's eventual, and inevitable, transformation.