FILM REVIEW: Olivia Colman set to turn air blue at Cineworld and Odeon

This week’s big film about poison pen letters in a local community takes us back to village life after the First World War.

But in modern Westside, where can you go to post a real letter in the age of email? The Premier store below the Park Regis Hotel on Islington Row Middleway is open 24/7 and includes the ‘Edgbaston Post Office’, with a post box on the nearby corner with Tennant Street.

The Brindleyplace post box is at the Central Square end of Oozells Street, by the side of Pret A Manger, with another one directly outside of the Crescent Theatre on Sheepcote Street. Now then, where were we…

WICKED LITTLE LETTERS (15, 100 mins). Letters laced with foul language start to arrive at the home of Edith Swan in the 1920s seaside town of Littlehampton. But who is sending them and why in this black comedy mystery with a theme of domestic abuse?

The cast. Many people’s favourite actress du jour, Olivia Colman, plays the pious Edith who is neighbours with her No 1 suspect, the volcanic Rose Gooding (Jessie Buckley). If the widowed Rose really is to blame, she could lose her freedom and her daughter. Co-stars include Timothy Spall (Edward Swan) and Jason Watkins as Mr Treading.

The verdict *** Some films are laced with bad language for the sake of it, others use occasional expletives like a deadly sniper.

Wicked Little Letters is a boisterous hoot by going for broke with the ultimate challenge for quality actors – to see if they can machine gum their rivals with foul-mouthed insults like ‘Oi! You daft old, f****** slippery old f****** dodger!’, whilst honouring the time-honoured film-making practice of ‘less is more’.

With cinemas having trailed Wicked Letters’ best lines for weeks, the weak plot relies too heavily on a cast of names so big they are inevitably spared a cruel end credits blooper sequence of tongue-tied tirades.

Nor is the film a new idea. Similarly spiteful epistolary acts were prevalent on both sides of the Atlantic in the early decades of the last century, inspiring the 1939 film Poison Pen, starring Flora Robson, and the abortion-centred French film Le Corbeau (1943).

On the bright side, Wicked Little Letters is light years ahead of the Fishermen’s Friends: One and All (2022) seaside sequel.

Police officer Gladys Moss is played by Anjana Vasan. It’s not her fault that she looks rather too modern for the period simply because Britain’s first Asian female police officer wasn’t born until 1943 and didn’t wear a uniform until 1971 – 16 years before Anjana herself was born.

Picture credit: StudioCanal

Westside cinema price updates

Odeon Luxe Broadway Plaza is offering a once-a-month deal of two tickets for £10 to Amazon Prime customers, (Monday to Thursday). Luxe has also introduced a £1 premium price for any rows of what are considered the best seats with a ‘Recliner+’ tag in the middle of a theatre.

Meanwhile, Cineworld has reduced Monday to Wednesday prices to £5.99. A 95p per ticket online booking fee still applies and long weekend prices remain £9.99.

Customers with an Unlimited Card (£16.99 a month means you can see as many films as often as you like) are currently entitled to a ‘free uplift’, removing the usual top-up fee for films in 4DX or IMAX formats. But that deal only lasts until Thursday 29 February – the day before the eagerly-awaited new sequel Dune 2 opens on screens including 4DX and IMAX.

Unlimited Card holders benefit from a 10 per cent reduction on the price of concessions (25 per cent for card holders of more than a year).


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