The Last Letter From Your Lover
4 out of 5 stars
One of the things that has been lost over the past few years is truly romantic films. Some might dismiss these films as formulaic and predictable. Still, for many they offer an escape into a magical world of sentimental passion. What adds to the beautiful interpretation of Jojo Moyes novel is the eloquence of the lost art of letter writing and how this enriches the charm of this story.
This tale crosses between the days of the past and the present by discovering letters between two lovers in 1965. This correspondence is found by the London Chronicle journalist named Ellie (Felicity Jones), while researching another story. Deep in the newspaper archives, she comes upon the love notes written between Anthony O’Hare (Callum Turner) and Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley), who had engaged in a passionate affair that did not seem to be resolved. This leads the young journalist to attempt to find these long-lost lovers to discover whatever came of their lives and their love.
What is compelling about Augustine Frizzell's direction for this beautiful journey into the past was her vision of both eras, showing the exquisite style and elements that make both of these decades appealing. No details are missing from the cars to the wardrobes to the different geographical locations. She manages to transport the viewer into these times and spaces while weaving both together without disrupting the narrative. This is even shown in the chemistry between couples involved in this love affair that travels through the decades. Woodley and Turner make the romance believable, but it is the relational tension between Felicity Jones and Nabhaan Rizwan (1917) that makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Granted, it is based on an extra-marital affair which detracts from the overall experience. Yet, this adds to the poignant storytelling as opposed to taking away from the overall experience. Especially the use of letter writing that allowed for elegant prose to be crafted into the dialogue. The vernacular used by a previous generation made the current use of language seem crass and elementary. Surprisingly, this proved to be some of the best writing in cinemas this year. Then to have it partnered with the stunning visuals and strong performances, this quietly became one of the better cinematic choices of the year.
REEL DIALOGUE: What does the Bible really say about marriage?
Some may think that the Bible does not have the answers to questions of marriage or adultery. Thankfully God does not leave this question unanswered on both subjects. The Bible gives us direct answers to the question of protecting marriage. It is not hard to find the answers. Even Jesus shares specific answers to people when asked.
“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” - Matthew 14:4-6
Marriage was God's idea and is a blessing to mankind. There is freedom within his paradigm, but God does have a paradigm. Anyone's opinion that differs from the Bible and/or Jesus' statement on marriage is merely their opinion and puts them at odds with God's view of the matter. The Bible's answers are accessible to all for consideration, but the reader must choose what to believe.
Passages on marriage: Genesis 2:20-24, Proverbs 19:14, Matthew 14:4-6, 1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5