A pair of interwoven stories set in the past and present follow an ambitious journalist determined to solve the mystery of a forbidden love affair at the center of a trove of secret love let... Read allA pair of interwoven stories set in the past and present follow an ambitious journalist determined to solve the mystery of a forbidden love affair at the center of a trove of secret love letters from 1965.A pair of interwoven stories set in the past and present follow an ambitious journalist determined to solve the mystery of a forbidden love affair at the center of a trove of secret love letters from 1965.
- "They don't make them like this any more" the saying goes. This is a love story cum melodrama that is well told by director Augustine Frizzell, in only her second feature. The film zips backwards and forwards between different time periods, trusting the audience to keep up with where we are. The dialogue is suitably soupy for a film of this type, based on a Jojo Moyes book (who wrote "Me Before You", also well-filmed). I've seen a critic review in "The Times" where they mocked the sentimentality of the love letters: but part of me would love to say "OK - let's hear what you would have written"!
- The story ticks all the boxes to keep you engaged. Although never moved to tears, a scene towards the end of the movie certainly generated a lump in the throat.
- All the leads are great. Shailene Woodley has been a personal favourite actress since her amazing turn in "The Descendants". And she certainly doesn't disappoint here.
- The production design is lush, particularly with the 60's scenes of London and the Riviera (reminiscent for me of the recent remake of "Rebecca"). This is nicely brought out by the cinematography (by George Steel), with some of the scenes being 'hang on the wall' beautiful to look at.
- It's wonderful to see the late Ben Cross in the movie, and he gives an excellent and touching performance. Cross died of cancer in August 2020 at the age of just 72. This is probably not his last movie, since he was in another - "The Devil's Light" - currently in post-production. Such a sad loss to the industry.
- The movie tries to construct a love story in the 60's and one in the present day 2020's, contrasting the different rules and values at play. The 60's one works; the 20's one really didn't for me. Ellie comes across as a very unlikeable person. The contrast between the lack of communications in the 60's (waiting at a station, not sure if someone will turn up or not) and today's chat/SMS rich 'always on' world could perhaps have been brought out more. With my Dr Bob directorial hat on, I would have ditched the present-day love story entirely and focused in on two professional detectives uncovering the past together: not everything needs to involve love and sex.
- The film has a couple of rain sequences that are highly unconvincing. One Riviera in-car scene particularly made me chuckle. "TURN FIRE HOSE ON!" You can almost see the blue sky and people cavorting on the beach behind them!
Summary Thoughts on "The Last Letter from Your Lover": There are actually few films around these days that feature love stories outside the teenage years. This is an 'old-fashioned' film that will appeal to an older age group, looking for style, romance and escapism. It reminded me in turns of movies like "The Two Faces of January" and "The Age of Adeline" in its mood and presentation. I'm probably not the target audience for this movie and I really enjoyed it. But the illustrious Mrs Movie Man probably is. And she declared that she absolutely loved it!
Ignore the sniffy newspaper and ex-newspaper critics. I'd declare this to be a "recommended".
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- Aug 9, 2021