Movie Review, ‘Late Night’

~By Randy Pelish~

I have the luxury as a critic that the late, great Roger Ebert didn’t. When asked toward the end of his life whether he had any regrets, he replied yes. If he could have changed one thing, he would have reviewed only films he liked. My publisher permits me that luxury. Thank you.

Emma Thompson appears in Late Night by Nisha Ganatra, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Emily Aragones.

With that in mind, I just saw “Late Night.” What All About Eve did for Broadway “Late Night” will most certainly do for late night TV talk shows.

In a funny but also moving portrait of that industry and the society that creates it. Director Nisha Ganatra has given us one of the most delicious and insightful satires in recent memory.

Emma Thompson plays an aging late-night talk show host whose entire life is coming under fire from all sides. Deeply frustrated, also angry and contemptuous of most of humanity, her late night reign is coming to an end.

That is until she meets a new writer on her staff, Mindy Kaling, a woman of color who has been given her job only because she is in the right place at the right time. Kaling’s charm matches Thompson’s caustic wit in a battle that’s waged not only between each other but the rest of society as well. It’s one that would throw both of them under the bus.

This is a satire of the highest order. Kaling also wrote this brilliant script that addresses just about every woman’s issue I can imagine.

Supported by a cast worthy of our dual protagonists, audiences will be stunned by this film. This is who women are now.

The film will win a lot of awards. It should.

Late Night is currently playing at the Century Park Lane 16

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