The disco club at the center of Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco (1998) is, in a way, fading or perishing—there is ill-gotten gain there—but much in the lives of the characters is fading or perishing as well. This is true despite all the young-professional effort, all the industriousness, going on, which certainly counts for something but will not necessarily make Charlotte (Kate Beckinsale) or Tom (Robert Sean Leonard) a better person. As always, however, Stillman believes he can afford to be optimistic. It is the optimism of at least one kind of philosophical conservative, one who appreciates “the old world order” (Eric Hynes) and Christianity; and, yes, although the characters in Disco do not genuinely embrace Christianity, maybe an “amazing grace”—sung by Charlotte—will sooner or later embrace them.
(This, by the way, is my second review of the film.)