Dir: Emma Holly Jones, US, 2022, 117 min.
Freida Pinto, Sopé Dìrísù, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Park, Zawe Ashton.
“First-time feature filmmaker Emma Holly Jones spins a lush, lavish, and quite frisky tale with her Mr. Malcolm’s List, presenting a fresh twist on the Regency Era rom-com… Julia Thistlewaite may be rich, pretty, and connected, but there’s a reason why she’s sputtered out over the course of five seasons with nary a husband to show for it… Julia’s search for a husband has led her to Mr. Jeremiah Malcolm, this season’s hottest eligible bachelor. But the serious Malcolm doesn’t quite vibe to Julia after a single, ill-fated date to the opera… When Julia’s latest failure becomes the subject of a mean-spirited caricature circulated among London’s brass, her embarrassment takes on a totally new cast… Julia wants revenge, or at least the chance to buff up her reputation… When her dim-witted cousin Lord Cassidy discovers that Malcolm has cooked up a list of the traits he’d like his future wife to have, she sees an in. She’ll scheme and manipulate a way for Malcolm to meet a seemingly perfect young lady, who will then viciously pull the rug out from underneath him… Ashton is almost too charming for her own good, Jackson-Cohen is a total scream, and Pinto and Dìrísù exhibit crackling chemistry… Jones and Allain’s vision of how we might reinterpret this sort of story for the big screen—including assembling a cast of people who are charming to watch, full stop—is both vital and delightful” —Kate Erbland, IndieWire