September 16, 2009 / Filmwell
Religion, however ironically disguised, makes its presence felt early in both of Stillman’s previous films, but for much of The Last Days the only cathedral is the dance club, the only faith an ill-fated allegiance to “the disco movement.” That absence, combined with the realistically rendered downward spiral of Alice’s search for love, lends the story a slowly accumulating gravitas that has much to do with moral consequence and spiritual emptiness: isolation surrounded by copulation, loneliness in the middle of a partying crowd. The director’s trademark irony falls away for entire scenes: he’s playing for keeps. This ain’t no party. This ain’t no disco. This ain’t no foolin’ around.