Have you ever met that one person who made you feel alive? Someone who understands you better than anyone else ever could and makes you feel more beautiful and powerful day by day? What happens when fate slams down her hammer changing your trajectory for eternity?
One of my favorite films ever is called ‘Backstreet,’ which follows two lovers (Susan Hayward and John Gavin) who have limited opportunities to get together because one of them is married. Immediately, I was reminded of my this classic tale when watching this film. Only difference is this story interweaves two couples whose lives are set in past and present.
Unhappily married Socialite Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley) is deeply in love with Anthony O’Hare (Callum Turner). In the present, journalist Ellie Haworth (Felicity Jones) discovers a love letter from Anthony while researching another story and embarks upon an investigation into their romance while entertaining her own connection with Rory (Nabhaan Rizwan). Based on a romantic novel from Jojo Mayes, we have an eavesdropped conversation between two young women, overheard by Mayes to thank for this complicated, heartbreaking scenario.
Witnessing Woodley grow up before our eyes has resulted in a very nuanced, intentionally stoic performance that encompasses every skill mastered along the way. As Jennifer, without saying one single word, she conveys tortured pain of not being able to spend a life with the one she truly loves while setting on a life she believes is best for all involved. Her performance is only enhanced by teaming with Callum Turner, whose work as Anthony makes you want to leap into the screen to save him from unrequited love.
On the flip side, it was so wonderful to see Felicity Jones and Nabhaan Rizwan drop those period pieces while stepping into the present day ‘Harry Meets Sally’ vs ‘Message In A Bottle’ romcom vibe which counteract the intenseness of from our 60’s couple. A scene with a chocolate croissant and coffee is all you need to know! Brilliant attention to detail from production designer James Merifield, costume designer Anna Robbins and cinematographer George Steel not only captures the feel, looks and wardrobe of both eras, but will transport audiences in a way only cinematic magic can accomplish.
Romantics globally will resonate with this story of love lost, found and rediscovered in through the most wonderfully gifted direction from Augustine Frizzell when The Last Letter From Your Lover streams via Netflix on July 23rd.