On the Last Day of Christmas

Christmas has become a lot colder for Sylvia Lestinger (Johansson), a sexy lady battling depression and a difficult career as a world-famous model. After a Thanksgiving binge she has lost a lot of important clients. With nothing to look forward to but badgering from her agent Lebouf, neurotic landlady (Zellweger), and credit card company, the holiday seems lonely and devoid of cheer. All of this changes when Lester Buckley (Pitt) enters the scene. Suave, good-looking, and vowing to please Sylvia at all costs, Lester really seems like the perfect catch. Almost too perfect. And then, twelve days before Christmas, someone beheads the landlady and sends a charming note to Sylvia – “A gift your true love sent to you”. As things slide further out of control and the body count begins to rise, Sylvia is about to discover how far Lester will go to ensure that her Christmas is the happiest ever. Can she break it off with this madman, or will her own corpse be among those on the final day of Christmas?

Nolan launches a confusing, if enjoyable, holiday epic that’s as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. Good use is made of the potential offered by filming the movie in 3D. Every bone-breaking, blood splattering turn is so realistic, you would swear that you were right at the crime scene. The use of saturated colors to emphasize Sylvia’s rapidly degenerating sanity is a wonderful touch, as is the orchestral arrangement, provided by Danny Elfman.

Be warned – despite Lebouf’s presence in the film, it is most assuredly not intended for children. Bloodshed aside, kids probably won’t appreciate the psychological thrills and philosophical musings. Still, it’s the perfect holiday film for Mommy and Daddy, while the children play with their presents under the tree.

By Lillian Osthoff

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