Love Letters This damn film still makes me cry.
There are elements of it that seem schmaltzy and trite at times, but the overall power of the story never lets up. Curtis has probably what are her finest moments in this tiny, almost never-seen film debut from Amy Jones (who did “Slumber Party Massacre” the year before to get the cash to make this Labor Of).
It’s probably the most honest and gut-wrenching depiction of obsessional love I’ve seen, or maybe it’s just obsession. Whatever it is, it’s lacerating and not to be missed. There are times when, watching Curtis’ performance, it’s hard for your body not to ache at the anguish she seems to be feeling.
Back to Jones’ script for a second… it’s full of dark, moody moments that in another film would be over-the-top and pretentious, yet work beautifully here. The photographic portrait session comes immediately to mind…an awesome scene and the two actors playing it are never shown once. The whole affair is filled with little one-offs like this, all of which are presented with a late-autumn chill.
Add to the mix Amy Madigan and Bud Cort’s usually fine work (and don’t forget the underrated James Keach, whose seemingly at-first overly clinical readings are awkward, then completely fit the character once he’s fleshed out). Oh yeah, and Ralph Jones’ score is one of the most haunting and beautiful I’ve ever heard.
Gets me every time.