Last Christmas Movie Review

Image Source: Empire

Last Christmas Movie starring Emilia Clarke & Emma Thompson

Distributor: Universal Pictures
Production Companies: Calamity Films, Feigco Entertainment, Perfect World Pictures & Universal Pictures
Director: Paul Feig
Producers: Erik Baiers, Sarah Bradshaw (executive producer), Simon Halfon (co-producer), Jessie Henderson, David Livingstone & Emma Thompson
Writers: Emma Thompson & Greg Wise
Main Cast: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson & Michelle Yeoh
Released: November 15 2019
Running Time: 103 minutes
Certificate: 12A

Heartwarmingly festive, hilarious moments with classic cringe form the perfect recipe for a must-see Christmas movie! Last Christmas is a festive celebration of George Michael and Wham! hits. It’s truly an exciting and imaginative interpretation of one of the most popular Christmas hits brought-to-life!


Last Christmas opens on a classic Christmas movie scene. Inside a church a young Kate (Emilia Clarke) is singing the lead solo in the children’s choir. Her mother, father and sister are sat in the congregation. Her Mother (Emma Thompson) is particularly emotional and clearly full of pride watching her daughter’s performance.

The story quickly fast-forwards to the present day. The family are living in London after fleeing from their homeland of Yugoslavia, and Kate is now a rather inadvertent chaotic young woman. She not only finds herself an accidental one-night affair, but she is also homeless. She works as an “elf” sales assistant at a Christmas shop in town. Her boss (Michelle Yeoh), who goes by the self-appointed title “Santa”, has clearly lost trust in Kate and is disappointed with her blasé attitude.

Kate’s life seems to be a spiralling, glittery mess, until she notices Tom (Henry Golding), an intriguing young man standing outside the shop window. This moment marks the beginning of their unlikely friendship and blossoming romance. Tom is charming, sensitive and optimistic. He simply offers Kate company, but with that comes his natural warmth and compassion. This brings Kate a new inspiration and an honest change of heart. She feels safe and content with Tom, although things aren’t all as they had seemed.

Last Christmas ends with Kate re-establishing relations with her over-concerned mother and seemingly apathetic sister. She uses her gift of performance to help the local homeless charity and she appears enlivened.


Kate’s life isn’t the most glamorous or successful. Something is not quite right, but we are unsure what exactly this is. It seems as though she has found herself in a habitual state of dissatisfaction. There is a shadow of hopelessness over her that intrigues the viewer, as if part of her backstory is missing.

Kate’s mum Petra is a typical worried mother, and the stress and concern of her daughter’s wellbeing is causing her ill health. Her desperate want to be needed may be something mothers can relate to as their children grow up. Her stress has caused strain on her marriage to Kate’s father, who rarely appears.

The writing is clever, but there is one particular moment in the movie that seems to serve no intelligent purpose to the storyline. Santa appears foolish when a tall, mysterious man enters the shop and catches her eye. The scene is rather witless and somewhat cheapens the quality of acting, which, besides this one scene, is both authentic and comedic.

The relationship between Kate and Tom is heartwarming and is defined strongly by laughter, recklessness and almost honesty. Kate learns to rely on Tom. As their relationship becomes more romantic, something changes and the truth reveals itself.


Clarke plays the perfect girl-next-door character and this relatable image instantly has you gripped. Although she seems to be a stern character, Santa portrays a subtle glint of hopefulness and belief in Kate. This character creates a solid comparison for the viewer between someone who appears to be successful and responsible, and Kate as quite the opposite. Thompson plays the mother exquisitely and serves an important role throughout the movie. She demonstrates honest worries with both a seriousness and comical edge.


An incredibly moving expression of heartache and healing, Last Christmas offers a classic “bar-humbug”, slightly cynical start which gradually melts into a heartwarmingly sensitive storyline. An unexpected twist creates the perfect balance of emotions and provokes further thought once the movie has finished. With a brilliant cast, Last Christmas is hilarious, emotional, and most definitely Christmassy in spirit!


Target Audience: Ages 12+
Content: 2/5 – Moderate Sex References & Language
Recommendation?: Yes
Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good

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