‘The Letter’ Trailer Or, Winona Ryder and James Franco in Their Acting Wheelhouses

The Letter Trailer

Ever think that Winona Ryder always looks like she’s creeped out about something? Ever think that James Franco always looks kind of creepy? Then The Letter is the movie for you. Because, from the looks of its new trailer, it seems like that’s pretty much the only thing the movie is about. Sure, there’s some talk about bad dreams, and some talk about poisoning people, but what’s definitely clear is that Ryder spends 90% of the movie either looking creeped out or screaming, and Franco spends 100% of the movie staring at people like a total weirdo (or doing unseen things to their nether regions while staring like a total weirdo).

Given the vague nature of the advertising, I guess we need to turn to Lionsgate’s official synopsis  for the film to discern what it’s really about. According to their blurb, “Martine Jamison (Winona Ryder) is a NY theatre director beginning rehearsals for a new play starring her boyfriend Raymond (Josh Hamilton) opposite a young beauty. They are joined by an unknown newcomer, Tyrone (James Franco), who develops a peculiar fascination with Martine and is openly hostile to all others. As rehearsals continue, Martine has periods of disorientation that quickly deteriorate into vivid hallucinations as she becomes convinced someone is trying to poison her. As Martine’s mental state devolves she begins to rewrite her play… and art and life become inseparable.”

So basically it’s a cross between D.O.A. and Black Swan, but low rent enough that its trailer is getting stuck on Lionsgate’s VOD YouTube account instead of their main one. The film comes from writer/director Jay Anania, who also directed Franco in the fairly obscure 2010 film Shadows & Lies (anybody see it?).

No official release date has been given, but presumably it will be hitting VOD platforms soon. What do you think, are you willing to give this one a chance, despite its seeming shoddiness, in order to watch a couple of talents like Ryder and Franco do their thing?

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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