Directed by: Augustine Frizzell
Written by: Nick Payne and Esta Spalding
Based on the novel by: Jojo Moyes
Produced by: Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin
Cast: Felicity Jones, Callum Turner, Joe Alwyn, Nabhaan Rizwan, Shailene Woodley
Plot: 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.
On Netflix on Friday, July 23. 2021
The movie starts with this authentically pleasing color palette as we mix some flashbacks and present-day moments to set the tone for the film. Of course, sometimes flashbacks or mixed sequences of current time vs. past doesn’t work, but I will admit I loved how director Augustine Frizzell intertwined them.
Within each of these timeframes, we have two leading ladies in Shailene Woodley and Felicity Jones that are knockouts in their roles. I loved how both parts were unique to their era but very similar as one. I’ve missed Woodley in this leading lady style of role because she commands the screen in ways that most can’t. At the same time, I love Felicity Jones and fail to understand why she is at the forefront of more films. Both of these ladies bring their characters to life.
Speaking of Woodley, her and Callum Turner’s chemistry is dynamic throughout and makes the movie work on many levels. You find yourself invested in their story and rooting for them, and it’s because of these two abilities to sell us in the roles of Jennifer and Anthony.
Time and time again, romance dramas are so bland and lack specific in-depth writing that entices you to care about what is ahead. However, co-writers Esta Spalding and Nick Payne give these characters life in ways that make them stand out from the norm. Jennifer is stuck in a loveless marriage, doing the “right thing,” and while she fends off and does the “wrong thing,” the writing does a great job of painting why the straying connects us to modern life.
As we reached the end of the movie, the stories were told in this captivating way that made you need to know what was happening next. The twist and turns, even some being predictable, still hit you hard. I truly adored this movie from start to finish, and I can’t recommend it enough.
The Verdict: B+
‘Woodley and Jones bring to life an authentic love story that we haven’t seen in years.’