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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Don Reviews "Wicked Little Letters"

When I was in college in Montana in the ‘90s, I saw an ad asking for volunteers to be part of a British Pen Pals program.  I figured “what the heck” and replied to the ad, and few weeks later I got a list of names and addresses and ended up meeting lady named Emma.  Ever since then, she has become a good friend of mine even to this day.  It’s easier and faster now for us to communicated because of things like Facebook, but I still have every letter she ever sent me. We have even met in person as I make it a point to meet up with her every time I got to the UK including my trip last year where she met “The Fantastic Faith Ford” for the first time.  This came to mind as I watched Wicked Little Letters, as the British Post Office plays a large role.


Directed by Thea Sharrock (Me Before You), this cast includes Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Timothy Spall, Alisha Weir, Paul Chahidi, and Anjana Vasan. Taking place in the 1920s Littlehampton, England, free spirited Irish Immigrant Rose (Buckley) has moved into the neighborhood, living next door to Edith (Colman) and her conservative parents including her overbearing father (Spall).  Edith starts getting letters with very offensive messages, and after multiple complaints, Rose is accused of sending the letters and charged with libel.  After Rose bonds out of jail, more letters get sent to more people while a new police officer named Gladys (Vasan), the daughter of a officer who passed away and is following in her father’s footsteps starts to believe Rose may be innocent.  It’s now a race against time to prove her theory before Rose gets locked away for a long time.


From a visual standpoint, this shows England to a tee.  Granted, it WAS filmed in the UK, but it shows its locations perfectly even in its historic accuracy.  The performances are good overall, but when you have veterans like Colman and Spall, there is a level of expectation that was met for me.  Mainly, this deals with Coleman, Buckley, and Vasan who have great chemistry.


The story itself takes a little time to truly get the main plot points, but once it all comes together, it kept me interested.  I liked the mix of comedy and drama this script has in it layered with its themes of relationships and adding some good British gossip scenes. I have to warn you that there is some very adult and vulgar language in this film due to the nature of its plot, but if you liked British films like Gosford Park and Downton Abbey, I think you will enjoy Wicked Little Letters by seeing it in second run.

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