Wicked Little Letters

April 5, 202460/1005 min
Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Timothy Spall, Hugh Skinner
Written by
Johnny Sweet
Directed by
Thea Sharrock
Run Time
1h 40min
Release Date
April 5th, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

                Saying mean things to someone is never the nice thing to do. Today, we have so many ways to express those mean sentiments, but there was a time when those choices were a lot fewer. Back then, if you wanted to tell someone what you thought of them, you had to write and then mail it, which, to me, shows more of a commitment than hitting ‘send’ on your keyboard. Wicked Little Letters tells a story about one town’s tale and the letters that caused quite the uproar.

In the small town of Littlehampton, there lives a conservative woman named Edith Swan (Olivia Colman), who leads a fairly simple life. She soon befriends her new neighbor from Ireland, named Rose Gooding (Jessie Buckley), who has quite a foul mouth, living a life unlike any other woman in town. It seems Edith kind of admires Rose’s freedom, but soon, Edith starts to receive the most vile letters, and all fingers point to only one person they could be coming from. These letters are all the town can talk about, and soon the police decide that an arrest must be made, with Rose as the prime suspect. Soon, Rose is in jail, and Edith seems to be soaking up all the comments and talk about her, both in person and in the paper. Meanwhile, Rose professes her innocence, but she is not the only one who believes she didn’t write the letters. The first woman police officer, Gladys (Anjana Vasan), also believes her and soon starts her own investigation. Together with a few other women of the town, they start to find proof that may point to another person as the writer of the letters.

Written by Jonny Sweet, Wicked Little Letters is a glimpse into a story of the past, which has been lost. The story is filled with a collection of quirky figures, and while some are pretty normal (like the incompetent police or the hypocritical family), the rest of the characters are given exciting features, all of which provide plenty of surprises. For a story that takes place nearly one hundred years ago, Wicked Little Letters feels surprisingly current, which of course, just makes everything feel more relevant.

Everything about Wicked Little Letters just screams a well-made film that will surely entertain all who watch it. The talented cast, led by Colman, Buckley, and Vasan, are fantastic and really seem to embrace the material. They all shine in what starts off as a sort of whodunit but shifts to a story filled with overdrawn characters that deliver funny dialogue and even slapstick moments. If you, like me, are a fan of British comedies, this is one of the better ones from the last few years, as its pure sense of fun keeps you wanting to watch. Taking a fascinating true scandal and delivering an enjoyable dramatization of it doesn’t always work out, but Wicked Little Letters definitely delivers here. That’s thanks to the mystery at its core and how wild and wicked the story gets, which is sure to please any crowd.

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