Review: Late Night's moments of brilliance upside to a patchy, predictable experience

An international treasure with two Oscars on her shelf has a new movie, Late Night, hitting kiwi cinemas this weekend.

If anyone can deliver a line dripping in caustic humour it's British actor Emma Thompson.

Here she is perfectly cast as a British comedian and late-night TV host called Katherine Newbury - a woman who doesn't suffer fools and who doesn't understand her flagging ratings.

When she is forced to diversify her writing staff Molly marches in, and it's game on.

Mindy Kaling is a force of nature on screen. She gives Molly the authenticity we need and works as the perfect foil to Thompson's withering ball-buster. 

Both women confront some home truths about themselves and each other amidst a male-dominated writer's room, full to the brim with varying degrees of sexism racism and bigotry. 

Off-camera we have the wonderful John Lithgow, Katherine's ailing husband and her biggest fan. 

Their relationship one of the highlights of this otherwise hit-and-miss narrative, as despite the fact our times are certainly ripe for this story, it fails to be the sum of all its comedic parts. 

A few hours spent with Emma Thompson is never time wasted, but I cannot help feeling this particular storytelling opportunity was. 

Moments of brilliance, some decent belly laughs courtesy of some great gender gags are the upside to a pretty patchy, predictable and undernourishing overall experience.  

Three stars.


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