“Wicked Little Letters”

April 3rd, 2024 Posted by Review 0 thoughts on ““Wicked Little Letters””

Hidden stories and truth that is stranger than fiction; these are the things that make great movies and “Wicked Little Letters” is one bizarre story based in reality that will make you laugh, cringe, and feel completely satisfied at the end.

Starring Olivia Colman as Edith, a prim and proper spinster living with her overbearing father played expertly by Timothy Spall and mousy mother Mabel (Gemma Jones) in the 1920’s England, who has been receiving unsavory letters in the mail from an unknown author. These letters would make a nun blush and a sailor squirm with their blasphemous language. Edith, assured that it must be the hussy from Ireland, Rose Gooding (Jessie Buckley) who lives next door, who penned these poisoned letters, allows dear old dad to call the coppers and have her arrested. The truth is more sordid than the words in the letters.

We flash back in time to more clearly understand Edith’s shackles she wears thanks to her controlling father and find that she admires her new neighbor Rose with her can-do attitude and foul mouth. She takes no sh** from anyone, particularly a man or anyone in authority, but we find that Rose has kryptonite in the form of her adorable daughter Nancy for whom she would give her life to protect. As Rose’s incarceration continues with the impending courtroom drama ahead, Woman Police Officer Gladys Moss (Anjana Vasan) smells something rotten in the small town of Littlehampton with her incompetent captain leading the way. Rallying the troops, she vows to be a detective and find the truth.

“Wicked Little Letters” is one of the best movies this year as you might guess given the star power involved. Writer Jonny Sweet and director Thea Sharrock find the perfect pitch to carry us through this long-buried story of revenge and control. Equally important is the chemistry between not only Colman and Buckley, but the entire cast who gives life and laughter to an incredulous story.

With many of the characters seemingly over the top, there’s a believability to each of them as well. Buckley is a crass, tough, raucous woman — especially of this time period — but her love of her daughter grounds her portrayal of Rose. Colman gives us an exquisitely fine-tuned performance, relishing in the complexity and depth of repression her Edith displays. We’ve also got a group of misfit women lead by Vasan’s Officer Moss who perfectly imbues British comedic tone. Eileen Atkins (Mabel), Joanna Scanlan (Ann), and Lolly Adefope (Kate) comprise this sorely underestimated group of women who also want to prove Rose’s innocence with what feels like a hair-brained scheme. Together, you can’t get enough of this group!

Be warned! There are more F-bombs and profanity than any “Godfather” movie to date, but it’s hilariously delivered which softens the blows. With a final scene that you want to watch repeatedly, you’ll be laughing so hard the tears will stream down your face.

4 Stars

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