The Last Letter from Your Lover is a 2021 British romantic drama film directed by Augustine Frizzell, base on Jojo Moyes’ 2012 novel of the same name. It stars Felicity Jones, Callum Turner, Joe Alwyn, Nabhaan Rizwan and Shailene Woodley.’
It modern time, Ellie Haworth, who recently broke up with her long time boyfriend, has to write an article about the recently deceased editor of her paper. Finally getting passed the archivist Rory to access the editor’s archive, she finds a letter to someone called “J,” from “Boot.” Affected by the emotional feelings between the mystery couple, Ellie becomes determined to know the indentities of the couple and how their love story had ended.
In the mid-1960’s, wealthy socialites Jennifer Stirlng and her husband Laurence travel to the French Riviera for a summer vacation. Foreign correspondent Anthony O’Hare comes to interview Laurence at a dinner party. Jennifer overhears Anthony insulting the Stirlings and their indulging lifestyle, causing Anthony to apologize to Jennifer. Anthony invites the Stirlings out to eat the next day, but Laurence is taken away on a sudden business trip, leaving Jennifer and Anthony to spend the summer together until he returns. They start to write letters using pennames “J” and “Boot.” Neither act upon their blossoming chemistry, until Jennifer impulsively tries to kiss him. When he turns away from her, she runs away. Days later, a letter penned by Anthony comes to her, coaxing to her to meet him at Postman’s Park in London. They start a crazy affair, spending time together where can be safely with him.
Romantic drama films involving affairs have been done time after time, some are very well done, others, not so much. This one is different, as is a story within a story, taking place in present day London and 1960’s French Riviera and London. It can be rather slow at times, making it a bit boring, but it never passion, in the today or past settings. There are many really good things about this film. All the stars are equally fantastic in their roles, the soundtrack, cinematography and costumes are all fabulous, fitting film perfectly.
I used to not be a big Shailene Woodley fan until I saw her in this movie and my opinion instantly changed, except I’m not sure whether she’s supposed to be British or not like her two lovers, as her accent is very weak if is supposed to be. She looks beautiful every second of this film, unlike most of her roles where she plays a tomboy. Her looks are very Jackie Kennedy-esque. Woodley has proved she can take on much deeper roles and is far past Divergent, the series that made her a household name.
This movie has the feel of a Bronte, Austen, or Woolf novel and reminds me a bit of the book and film Atonement, which is also a story within a story and features an affair, the only thing is, Your Last Lover probably won’t be nominated for any major awards, as the story is a bit unoriginal. Jojo Moyes is a modern day Austen meets Bronte. She knows how to write romance and stir emotions, maybe not quite as good as her influences, but not half bad either. This story takes you on journeys from the age of the mini-skirt to modern time and does it so well, not spending too much time in either world.
There film is so deep and full of emotion, both good and bad. So many critics are panning this movie, but they don’t see it for its true art. Yes, they spend a lot of time showing Jennifer (Woodley) and Anthony (Turner) making out and making love, but that is really one of the few bad things about this movie. It can be slow at times, like I said as well and maybe there are bit too many affair films, but that’s all. It is still great film otherwise. Don’t let the bad reviews deter you from watching this one.