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Review of Wicked Little Letters: Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley Reunite in a Tense Period Comedy

Review of Wicked Little Letters: Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley Reunite in a Tense Period Comedy

Thea Sharrock’s latest film, “Wicked Little Letters,” which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, attempts to capture the intrigue and tension of a real-life slander scandal that shook the small British town of Littlehampton in 1920. However, the film’s take on this complex story falls disappointingly flat, despite an impressive cast that reunites Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley.

The film features Colman as Edith Swan, a pious and restrained woman living with her overbearing parents, portrayed by Timothy Spall and Gemma Jones. Buckley plays Rose, a bold, independent single mom from Ireland who becomes Edith’s unlikely friend. Set against the backdrop of the suffrage movement and the Irish War of Independence, the film aims to tackle serious themes, including discrimination, misogyny, and repression.

Regrettably, Jonny Sweet’s screenplay doesn’t manage to go beyond surface-level feminism, undermining the film’s potential for impact. While the story could have been a compelling dark comedy, the script’s focus on one-note humour renders the film tonally inconsistent.

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The plot kicks off when Edith and her family decide they’ve had enough of the anonymous, offensive letters that have been circulating in the community. They lodge a police complaint, leading to an investigation that ends up targeting Rose, despite a lack of concrete evidence. Anjana Vasan shines as the lone female officer on the force who attempts, unsuccessfully, to steer the investigation in a more legitimate direction.

“Wicked Little Letters” struggles to find its footing between comedy and drama, and not even the star-studded cast can keep audiences invested in what could have been a compelling narrative. While the performances from Colman, Buckley, and Vasan are noteworthy, the film never manages to gel the serious and comical elements effectively, leaving viewers wondering what could have been. Source

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John brings five years of experience and a passion for storytelling to the world of film and TV criticism. Holding a degree in Journalism, he specialize in nuanced reviews that delve into character development and thematic depth. Whether it's the latest blockbuster or an indie gem, John's analysis offers a unique lens on what's worth watching.