Featuring a cracking George Michael soundtrack, plenty of yuletide cheer, Emma Thompson showcasing a Russian accent and Emilia Clarke getting pooped in the eye, the first trailer for rom-com Last Christmas is here.
It’s the first real look at the London-set film co-penned by Emma Thompson (who also stars), featuring the Game of Thrones actress as a disgruntled jobbing elf who continuously bumps into a soup kitchen volunteer.
Well, that’s only the basic story – the sneak peek of Last Christmas gives us plenty else to unpack…
We’ve finally got a glimpse of the cast in character
As well as seeing Clarke playing Kate and Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding as good-hearted Tom, the trailer also reveals plenty of other actors in action.
Firstly, there’s Emma Thompson as Adelia, Clarke’s mother who sports a Russian accent throughout the trailer. Apparently concerned about her daughter’s health, she tells a doctor (played by The Danish Girl’s Rebecca Root) that Kate drinks “like a pirate”.
We also see Star Trek: Discovery’s Michelle Yeoh as head of a London season shop, a boss who lampoons Kate for being a “lazy elf”.
There’s also a brief glimpse of Gentleman Jack’s Lydia Leonard, who plays Kate’s sister.
Emilia Clarke may have a very personal connection to Last Christmas
Although seemingly a cheesy rom-com at heart, the trailer also features some hard-hitting elements that appear to parallel with Clarke’s personal life. While her Last Christmas character is shown to be recovering from an illness that nearly killed her, the actress recently revealed she experienced her own near-death experience.
Telling her story in a touching essay published in The New Yorker earlier this year, Clarke opened up about her two life-threatening brain aneurysms, the first of which ruptured in 2011. She revealed how during the gap between the first two seasons of Game of Thrones she suddenly suffered a “shooting, stabbing, constricting pain” in her head while exercising.
“In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug,” Clarke wrote. “I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job – my entire dream of what my life would be – centred on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.”
Fortunately, Clarke said she is now fully recovered and her charity SameYou aims to support people recovering from brain injuries and strokes.
The film will feature a lot of George Michael music
As the title suggests, Last Christmas is based on the classic winter track from Wham!’s George Michael, the super singer who died on Christmas Day in 2016. As co-writer Bryony Kimmings previously told RadioTimes.com, the idea for the project came from Thompson, her husband Greg Wise and Michael himself.
“When I came on board, George was up for it, he’d already signed something to say yes, but he’d passed away,” Kimmings said, “and Greg and Emma were still very keen to write it.”
The film will also reportedly include unreleased George Michael music. “He was putting together his new album when he passed,” director Paul Feig told the BBC. “And one of our tracks is one of those songs, and it’s just an absolutely amazing song that I’m so excited the world is going to get to hear now.”
He continued: “It’s a very celebratory song, I would dare say. And we were able to play the entire song, which is almost six minutes long, in the film. Because when you get a song that has never been heard, you don’t want to just use, like, 15 seconds of it. The song starts at the end of the film, and then goes into the credits.”
Last Christmas is released in UK cinemas 15th November 2019