Letitia Wright Stars in Brit Drama – The Hollywood Reporter

Adapted by screenwriter Andrea Seigel (Laggies) from the nonfiction book of the same name, the drama by journalist Marjorie Wallace The Silent Twins explores the imaginative but often unhappy real-life world of pagan artists June (Letitia Wright) and Jennifer (Tamara Lawrance) Gibbons.

Identical twin sisters, born in 1963 to a pair of Windrush generation immigrants from Barbados and raised in Wales, chose not to speak to anyone but each other for years. However, they wrote pages upon pages of very eccentric but strangely fascinating poetry and prose, which director Agnieszka Smoczynska (Seduction) and her team adapted the lyrics for the small, fun songs and stop-motion animations with creepy dolls that make up the whole point of the film.

The Silent Twins

Key point

Ambitious, but won’t tell everyone.

Location: Cannes Film Festival (First Class)
Cast: Letitia Wright, Tamara Lawrance, Leah Mondesir-Simmonds, Eva-Arianna Baxter, Nadine Marshall, Treva Etienne, Michael Smiley, Jodhi May, Jack Bandeira, Kinga Preis, Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn, Tony Richardson
Manager: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
Writer: Andrea Seigel, adapted from the book ‘The Silent Twins’ by Marjorie Wallace

1 hour 53 minutes

But in essence, as compelling as the Gibbons sisters’ story might be, Smoczynska and Seigel’s interpretation of the material just doesn’t sound right – a bit too contented with its own quirky story , and is too preoccupied with surface textures and colors to help the viewer really understand its troubled protagonists.

This may not be a fair comparison, but Silence Twin feels a lot like, but not as good as, the recent UK limited series Landscapers. A collaboration between screenwriter Ed Sinclair and director Will Sharpe, and starring David Thewlis and Olivia Colman as convicted murderers Christopher and Susan Edwards, it’s also a story about mental illness. unchecked leads to tragic unhappiness, mixed with a bit of black humor. Alike The Silent Twins, Landscapers revolves around a pair of unlikely criminals (though Edwards’ crimes are far, far more serious) whose co-dependent fantasies add a playful self-reflexive quality to the series. film.

The Silent Twins feels more like an exercise in voyeurism, with less regard for what makes the “twins,” as their families call, tick, and more because of their quirks. Even as young girls (played by Leah Mondesir-Simmonds early in the film as June and Eva-Arianna Baxter as Jennifer), the sisters mirror each other’s movements and warn of silence. each other’s silence with glances out of the corner of their eyes. . They sometimes attack each other, for no apparent reason, with the ferocity that only siblings are capable of.

But behind the bedroom door, their shared fantasy world is an eerie mix of fairy tale, pop music, and magical romantic clichés. That latter component will get them into trouble when they become teenagers (a role played by Wright and Lawrance), and both are besieged by an American teenage punk named Wayne Kennedy ( Jack Bandeira), who moved in the neighborhood and introduced them to huffing and sex.

From there, it’s just a short, dizzying step to setting fire to a tractor shop and stealing items worth no more than £100. But it was enough to get the sisters to be sent to the notorious mental institution Broadmoor for an indefinite spell based on the court’s belief that they posed too great a danger to society and to themselves.

Once inside and the drug reaches the eyeball, the women get worse and worse, not better, even become more violent and self-destructive. Paradoxically, it is in this final third that the series begins to feel less about the sisters and more about Marjorie Wallace (Jodhi May)’s attempt to help them by writing up their story in Sunday Timesturns the movie into another story about the white man’s savior.

The film only appears briefly to be concerned with how racism can affect the twins’ journey. It has been suggested that their extreme bullying at school in Wales, the only children of color in the area, played an important role in withdrawing from public silence, but the ministry The movie just denies this factor. Similarly, very little is said about the racist system of the justice system that punishes sisters for petty crimes with extremely disproportionate sentences.

Then again The Silent Twins It’s a very difficult task for me to talk about the inner and outer lives of women at the same time, but I don’t quite know how to be round. On the surface it is very impressive and especially likes to show the difference between their saturated color palette fantasies and the drab reality of the world they live in, a Welsh suburb wrapped in the patches of mud, and the even creepier swing of Broadmoor (a Polish location, obviously). The props are from Katarzyna Lewińska’s costumes, all the vintage fabrics and matte mohair knitwear, that bridge is precisely tailored and the pastel palette resembles the two worlds the sisters live in.

Finding actors who are not identical twins in real life to play the sisters has always been a challenge. Instead of using visual effects and just one actor – like Legend, starring Tom Hardy as the Kray twins – the filmmakers here wisely opted for the easier, more budget-friendly option than casting two women with the same looks. the same and just pick it, use costumes and makeup to match them up, as would be done in the theater. It helpfully emphasizes the personality differences between twins, despite the fact that the girls themselves always try to suppress that difference. Wright’s June emerges as a more introverted, cautious twin and the actor, who is also one of the film’s producers, brings a graceful stillness to the role. But it’s Lawrance who shines even brighter as Jennifer, fragile, brilliant and nimble.

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