The Last Black Man in San Francisco, 2019, 4 stars

Last  is first-rate

Jonathan Majors, left, and Jimmie Fails star in The Last Black Man In San Francisco. (fair-use image courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Exclusive to MeierMovies.com, October 5, 2019

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is the best first film of 2019. In his directorial debut, Joe Talbot has successfully blended drama, comedy and social commentary into a uniquely satisfying and insightful examination of spatial and material attachment, framed by the social phenomenon known as gentrification. And through his partnership with star Jimmie Fails, upon whose life the film is based, Talbot has also concocted an original depiction of friendship that is equally sad and joyful.

For a more in-depth discussion of the film, let me do something that is rare for me: refer you to another critic’s analysis. I had the pleasure of meeting Entertainment Weekly writer Leah Greenblatt at the Telluride Film Festival a few weeks ago, and she told me Last Man was her top film of the year so far. While my reaction to it wasn’t quite as overwhelming, it’s still solidly in my top 10 (and I am rooting for an Oscar nomination for co-star Jonathan Majors). So I encourage you to read her review here. Perhaps her enthusiasm for the movie will become infectious.

© 2019 Cameron Meier