- Minor details connect Ellie Haworth and Jennifer Stirling in “The Last Letter From Your Lover.“
- The director told Insider that “repeating patterns” were intentionally placed throughout the movie.
- Her hope is for viewers to subconsciously use the details as a bridge between the women’s stories.
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Her research transports her deep into the past, leading her to Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley), an American expat that has an impassioned extramarital affair with Anthony O’Hare (Callum Turner), the foreign correspondent tasked with profiling her husband.
It may seem like Ellie, a modern-day woman closed off from love after the “soul-destroying” end of an eight-year relationship, and Jennifer, a ’60s socialite smitten with a man that’s not her husband, are the leads in two entirely separate stories.
But Frizzell told Insider she placed subtle details throughout her adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ 2010 novel that unify the story, despite its dual narrative structure.
“The biggest thing that we tried to do, that we felt would be helpful in stitching these two stories together, was just repeating patterns and repeating visual elements in a way that you might not notice them when they’re happening, but might sit in your subconscious and help you create the parallels between them,” she told Insider.
Frizzell said they intentionally matched the awning with Jennifer’s yellow-and-white lounge chair in the South of France.
The director went on to confirm that the cast and crew used the same space for Ellie and Anthony’s office, which makes sense considering both journalists write for the London Chronicle, just in different decades.
Though there are minor lighting and decor changes between the scenes to mark the gap in time, the green floor-to-ceiling poles make the setting recognizable in both eras.
Frizzell told Insider that the light-blue wallpaper behind Ellie’s bed is “very similar” to that design.
Too focused on meeting Anthony at the train station to change, she keeps the outfit on as she rushes through the rainy London streets. Eventually, authorities find her in the dress after her getaway car crashes.
The very next scene jumps forward to the present time, and Ellie is sprawled on the archives’ floor searching for more love letters.
Frizzell pointed out that she’s in a black-and-white houndstooth dress, like Jennifer in the scene prior.
And in one of the movie’s later scenes when Jennifer rushes into Anthony’s newsroom, she wears a similar style of coat, though hers is beige.
“We have so many little things like that,” Frizzell added after drawing the connection between the characters’ outerwear.