Last Moment of Clarity Review(2020)- Samara Weaving Shines In This Fun Neo Noir-Lite Thriller
Last Moment of Clarity sells itself as a neo-noir thriller that borrows heavily from genre films of the past. While it doesn’t always reach its lofty goals, the outstanding performances by most of the cast make Last Moment of Clarity a film that is both an interesting mystery but fun as hell to watch.
Last Moment of Clarity starts when Gambling addict Sam Pivnic (Zach Avery) comes out of hiding to look for his fiancé who he thought died as part of an assault on his apartment led by Bulgarian thugs he owes money too. Avery’s fiancé Samara Weaving seems to have survived the attack and has now changed her identity and is starting a career as an actress.
The bulk of the movie is spent trying to figure out where the Bulgarian’s are and whether Weaving is really Avery’s old fiancée. We get answers to those questions sooner then I expected which made the movie easier to follow but probably came at the expense of some of the tension. The ending was earned and if there is any nit to pick it would have been the final third of this movie moves VERY quick and the ending happens before you know it is coming. While the bulk of the movie doesn’t necessarily hit the neo noir sales pitch the ending certainly does and helps restore a little of the tension that is punctured earlier.
There is one reason to watch this film. Samara Weaving is a full on movie star. Easing her way from scream queen into Hitchcockian thriller seems like the natural progression for an actress who looks and acts the part of a budding Hollywood A lister. She commands the screen in every shot she is in and offers the most nuanced performance of the film. Directing duo James and Colin Krisel spend a great deal of time convincing us that Georgia is the actual starlet the film wants her to be (maybe too much, I don’t think she needs the help).
As a result the movie sacrifices a bit of the sardonic charm that seems to be one of Weaving’s hallmarks for the glitz and glam of the celebrity elite. It makes her arch and storyline a bit cold which works well within the confines of the hardboiled story the Krisel’s are trying to tell.
While Clarity isn’t reinventing the wheel it does showcase the talent of the rest of the cast as well. The big named actor who receives top billing is Brian Cox. Cox plays Giles who offers up a character rich with paternalistic advice. it is a role that fits him well. Cox’s performance is familiar and comfortable which makes it cozy but not necessarily groundbreaking.
Zach Avery offers up a somber and guileless performance as Sam who balances his own safety with his obsession with his old fiancé. If there is a bit of weirdness of the film it would be that this level of obsession with any women (dead or alive) feels a little antiquated especially in the me too era. At some point wouldn’t Avery’s own conscious kick in and ask “is she even still into me”. At its core the love story between the two looks and feels genuine in all of the flashbacks but becomes really problematic later in the film when Avery appears to just be another obsessed fan. To the movies credit it figures out a realistic way for the film to wrap that story up and it involves Carly Chaikin who plays Kat with the comedy and charm that Weaving’s performance must sacrifice.
Sometimes you need a fun thriller to get lost in. That is exactly the type of mystery Last Moment of Clarity provides. The stakes are low for the rest of us even if they remain high for the two leads and as the movie progresses along, the action left me free of anxiety. In a real world full of surprises and worry it is wonderful to visit a film that uses the tropes of Hitchcock so well. Doppelgangers, beautiful ingénues, and international intrigue all come together to make Last Moment of Clarity a lovely diversion from the stress of the real world.
Last Moment of Clarity starts streaming today in the UK on all of the major platforms and folks in the US can catch it on Tubi.
Tyler has been the editor in chief of Signal Horizon since its conception. He is also the Director of Monsters 101 at Truman State University a class that pairs horror movie criticism with survival skills to help middle and high school students learn critical thinking. When he is not watching, teaching or thinking about horror he is the Director of Debate and Forensics at a high school in Kansas City, Missouri.