The great character actor Danny Huston – Anjelica’s brother – has worked with some legendary directors like Martin Scorsese (The Aviator) and Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men). He’s also frequently delegated to thankless, villainous supporting roles in Hollywood blockbusters (Wonder Woman, Angel Has Fallen). It’s a little-known fact, however, that the actor – whose expressive eyes elevate the trashiest material with a mere twinkle – started his career as a director (Mr. North, Becoming Colette, The Maddening). With The Last Photograph, Huston allows himself the opportunity to flex both muscles: he directs and stars in the artistic, poignant feature. The filmmaker deftly handles themes of loss and mourning, gracefully tackling a real-life subject. His film is loosely based on the horrific crash of the Pan-Am Flight 103, which was destroyed by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland.
“…loosely based on the horrific crash of the Pan-Am Flight 103, which was destroyed by a bomb over Lockerbie, Scotland.”
The film starts in black-and-white, a snapshot of a seemingly inconsequential conversation between father and son. Huston’s Tom Hammond is driving Luke (Jonah Hauer-King) to the airport, asking his son questions about his new girlfriend Bird (Stacy Martin). Luke ends up boarding the ill-fated Pan Am flight. Having gone through seven circles of emotional hell, Tom is now a grumpy bookshop owner, still very much haunted by the appalling incident. One day, his bag – which contains the titular last photograph of him with Luke – gets stolen. This sends Tom cascading back into hell’s depths. He looks through trash bags, throws a fit in the park….Good thing that his neighbor, café owner Hannah (Sarita Choudhury), is there to provide much-needed emotional support.
"…blurrier, magnified streetlights mesh with real archive footage and frozen images of an art installation"