With few options, newly pardoned convict Leila agrees to work as an assistant to a blind pastor. Father Jacob spends his days answering the letters of the needy, which Leila finds pointless...
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With few options, newly pardoned convict Leila agrees to work as an assistant to a blind pastor. Father Jacob spends his days answering the letters of the needy, which Leila finds pointless. But when the letters stop, the pastor is devastated and Leila finds herself cast in a new role.Written by
Pusan International Film Festival
Submitted by Finland to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (U.S.A.) for consideration for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 82th Academy Awards. See more »
In one brief shot, the mailbox in the yard has water streaming out from four holes. This water could not have accumulated naturally, so it was obviously poured into the mailbox by the crew just before the shot. See more »
[dictating a letter]
... and then sign it: "With loving greetings Father Jacob and Leila Sten..."
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Have you ever seen a movie that just sneaks up on you? You find yourself watching a film that seem okay and then suddenly you realize that it's really a magnificent and moving picture? Well, I sure have and I wish it happened more often, that's for sure. Like "My Afternoons with Margueritte", "Letters to Father Jacob" is one of these sweet pictures. But, because it sneaks up on you, be sure to pay attention and fight that urge to turn it off--it's a terrific little film.
The film begins in prison. Leila has been pardoned for her crime but she refuses to leave! It seems she has no where to go and is content to stay in prison. However, an old blind priest named Father Jacob has requested that she be paroled to him--as a housekeeper. She is not thrilled but has no other options and moves in with the guy. Her job is to do light housekeeping as well as read letters to him. Apparently, he's received thousands of letters from people requesting his advice and prayers and that is his ministry. Leila seems pretty bored by this and even begins tossing many of the letters away and contemplates running. However, she stays and then it happens--the film really goes right for the heart. I won't say more--it would spoil it. However, suffice to say it was NOT predictable, many questions are answered and you should have some Kleenex nearby.
The bottom line is that this film is exceptional--great writing, wonderful natural acting by folks who do not appear to be professional actors (though they are--especially Heikki Nousiainen who has had many film appearances) and the direction was just wonderful. If you don't mind a film without explosions, super-stars or glitz but just want a great film about people, give this one a try---you'll be glad you did!
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