Wicked Little Letters review – a deliciously sweary poison-pen mystery
news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 15:00 · 1 minute
The true tale of a foul-mouthed scribbler in 1920s Sussex is given nuance by a stellar cast including Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Anjana Vasan and Timothy Spall
Before X or Twitter or even YouTube, if you wanted to vent your rage at an unjust world on a blameless bystander you had to go to the trouble of actually writing a letter and posting it. These were the days of the poison pen letter, an early 20th-century socio-criminal phenomenon here revived by comedian Jonny Sweet’s gleefully sweary script and a competent ensemble of British comedy’s finest directed by Thea Sharrock.
Swearwords, you see, can be very funny – especially when primly pronounced by a pious spinster such as Edith (Olivia Colman), who seems to be the letter writer’s primary target. Or when spurting forth from a potty-mouthed slattern such as Edith’s neighbour Rose (Jessie Buckley), on whom suspicion immediately falls. And these swearwords are particularly funny – a collection of naughty non sequiturs and rococo rantings that derive from the real letters of the Littlehampton libels, a forgotten scandal that terrorised this small Sussex town in the early 1920s. “Piss-country whore”? “Foxy-assed rabbit-fucker”? Epithets this fruity are clearly beyond the wit of man to invent. (And there’s your first clue to the letter writer’s identity.)Continue reading...