Courtesy of eOne Films
Dir: Gary Winick (Bride Wars, 13 Going on 30)
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Egan, Gael García Bernal, Franco Nero
Reason to see: The trailer looked very sweet, plus I love Vanessa Redgrave
With the tagline "What if you had a second chance at true love", you know it's going to a film filled with warm and fuzzies, and it is. Letters to Juliet brings us a warmhearted view on love, romance and relationships. The film follow Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), who comes across and decides to answer a long lost love letter written by Claire (Vanessa Redgrave).
While I don't consider myself a romantic, this film did win me over. The characters are believable and well played, and the scenario has a cute sense of adventure and whimsy while still being relatable and sweetly hitting home. I also enjoyed how even though romance is the obvious theme here, what we also get is a lovely female relationship formed between Sophie and Claire that was the unexpected joy of the film. It's as much about their relationship as it is about romance, yet everything is intertwined together as life inevitably is. I also loved that it showcased love at different ages and stages of life, giving it not only multi-generational appeal, but awareness and acknowledgement that love exists at many different times of life.
In terms of the cast, Amanda Seyfried is having one heck of a year, it's only May and this is her third release of the year after Dear John, Chloe and now here in Letters to Juliet. Amazing. Even though Chloe provides a lot more variety, I think Letters to Juliet is her strongest performance of the year. For me it was really Vanessa Redgrave really knocks it out of the park, every scene she is in she lights up on screen in a strong, subtle way radiating beauty and knowledge. Overall, I found it rather touching and an easy recommendation for the romance fans out there. It's a film I'd easily enjoy watching with my Mom or my sisters.
As a fun side note, Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero are in fact a couple in real life that first appeared on the screen together in the 1967 film version of Camelot where they starred as Guenevere and Lancelot (with Richard Harris as Arthur). Can you imagine?
- Audio commentary with director Gary Winick & actor Amanda Seyfried (Sophie), a nice combination of casual chat on locations, working with the actors and the films story along with a fair amount of focus on filmmaking technique and choices.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (10 minutes) - 2 deleted and 6 extended scenes
- The Making of Letters to Juliet: In Italia (12 minutes), making of featurette focusing on films message, filming in Italy and working together though behind the scenes footage, film clips and interviews with director Gary Winick, producers Caroline Kaplan, Mark Canton and actors Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael García Bernal, Luisa Ranieri and Franco Nero.
- A Courtyard in Verona (5 minutes) absolutely charming featurette on the inspiration of the film and it's development as well as the book it was based on Letters to Juliet: Celebrating Shakespeare's Greatest Heroine, the Magical City of Verona, and the Power of Love by Lise Friedman and Ceil Friedman. Includes interviews with book co-authors Lise Friedman and Ceil Friedman, producer Caroline Kaplan and Amanda Seyfried, Gael García Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave and Luisa Ranieri.
Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it fans of romance and light dramas
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010
Originally reviewed for Theatrical Release - May 13, 2010
(Left to right) VANESSA REDGRAVE and AMANDA SEYFRIED star in LETTERS TO JULIET. Photo John Johnson
Director GARY WINICK and star AMANDA SEYFRIED on the set of LETTERS TO JULIET. Photo John Johnson. Courtesy of E1 Entertainment