Stylish Films: Wicked Little Letters

On Monday, I took a trip to the cinema to see ‘Wicked Little Letters,’ This tells the frankly incredible story of a spate of rather rude, poison pen letters that were sent, initially to one woman, Edith Swan, but later to many other people, in the quite seaside town of Littlehampton in the 1920’s. Edith’s neighbour Rose Gooding, an Irish immigrant who ‘was no better than she should be’ was blamed, and actually jailed for the letters, but the real culprit was later revealed through the clever detective work of  ‘woman PC’ Gladys Moss, with the unravelling of the case proving to be a even more shocking tale than even the original letters.

Wicked Little Letters is just a brilliant British film with a cast to die for, humour and outrage working in equal measures, and one of the funniest endings I have seen in a long time. Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley are a dream team as Edith and Rose, and are ably supported by the brilliant Timothy Spall as Edith’s sinister father, Joanne Scanlan, Gemma Jones and Lolly Adefope as the towns women who flock to help Rose, and Anjana Vasan, who is just lovely as the inimitable Gladys Moss. Each member of the cast is perfection in their roles.

The letters themselves are a hoot, full of insults of the most florid kind, and certainly not something that the far more potty mouthed Rose would ever have used, instead pointing to a writer who rarely swore or cursed in real life. But the film also has some smart things to say about class – Rose must be guilty, because she has an illegitimate child and has lied about this fact, so therefore she must’ve have written the letters, despite the fact that the handwriting does not resembles her writing, and actually suggests someone else completely.Rose is guilty of having low morals, of being an undesirable, and of using foul language freely in her speech, so that’s it, she must be guilty of the letters, despite, as she herself admits, the fact that if she had anything to say, she would just say it.

Wicked Little Letters is a hoot, a film that will leave you chuckling throughout, and have you shocked that such a thing should’ve happened in such a prime, respectable seaside town.

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