‘Last Christmas’: How Are George Michael’s Songs Used In the Movie?
The holiday movie Last Christmas is set to George Michael music. Of course the title track is in there, and the soundtrack reveals which other classics from Michael’s solo career and Wham! days are in the movie. Showbiz Cheat Sheet saw an early screening so we can advise you how the movie takes advantage of your favorite songs, without spoiling the film.
Emilia Clarke plays Kate, an aspiring singer recovering from an illness. Kate works in a Christmas store for Santa (Michelle Yeoh) when Tom (Henry Golding) walks in to sweep her off her feet. Kate isn’t quite that easy, but they have the whole holiday season to fall in love. Last Christmas opens November 8 in theaters.
This is the first George Michael song in ‘Last Christmas’
The first song you’ll hear in Last Christmas after the Universal Studios logo is “Heal the Pain.” Young Kate (Madison Ingoldsby) sings it in a choir in Yugoslavia in 1999. Ingoldsby’s rendition gives way to a jukebox version in 2017 London.
The full George Michael version plays on the soundtrack later in the film and Emilia Clarke also sings “Heal the Pain” herself.
There are many versions of ‘Last Christmas’ in the movie
When George Michael wrote a Christmas song, he couldn’t have imagined all the different versions of it there might be. The first time you hear it in Last Christmas, it’s not George Michael’s version. It’s almost muzak in Santa’s store.
Wham!’s recording of “Last Christmas” does make it into the movie, but perhaps the greatest treat is the third version of the title track. Emilia Clarke leads a performance of “Last Christmas” in the finale, beginning a cappella and then full instrumentation and backing vocals join her.
Emilia Clarke wakes up to ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”
It may seem obvious, but “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” literally wakes Kate up. It’s playing on TV while she’s napping on a friend’s sofa, so it literally wakes her up before she go gos.
These George Michael songs do double duty in ‘Last Christmas’
“Everything She Wants” begins on the soundtrack filling the whole theater with the sounds of Wham! Then Last Christmas reveals it was playing on a car radio the whole time, so the sound fades.
Later in the movie, George Michael’s solo song “One More Try,” off the Faith album, plays after an emotional family scene. It fades into the background of a scene in a bar before finally fading out for good.
This George Michael song plays after the big reveal of ‘Last Christmas’
Last Christmas has a twist. We won’t spoil it, but “Praying for Time” is the George Michael song playing after the film reveals its holiday twist.
These George Michael songs play over montages in ‘Last Christmas’
What could be a more cinematic use of music than a montage? Hollywood soundtracks are full of great songs that help string collections of scenes together and move through the movie faster. Last Christmas is no exception, but all the montage songs are George Michael.
“Waiting For That Day,” “Freedom ‘95” and “Faith” are good montage worthy songs. You might consider “Praying for Time” or “Heal the Pain” as montage songs too, so you can count on at least five montages in Last Christmas.
The new George Michael song takes us home
Last Christmas saved its brand new George Michael song for last. The soundtrack features the previously unreleased single “This Is How (We Want You To Get High).” It’s the last song you’ll hear in the film and it continues over the end credits.