Directed by Ella Jones and written by lead actress Molly O’Shea, if luck is a lady, grief is a bitch. A young woman loses her mother and finds herself. Also starring: T’Nia Miller, Maggie O’Neill, Lise Ann McLaughlin, Ben Whishaw and Alex Lawther.
Right from the start you can feel the quality of Miss Fortunate’s style, the use of colour almost feels reminiscent of Almodóvar, in its rich, bright hue. There’s an immediate sharpness to it, everything feels very modern but is viewed through humble eyes. Ella Jones brings a softness to her direction to balance things out and feed into the emotions of the story. There’s a great detail to the set and costume work, particularly Scarlett’s (O’Shea) funeral look which has a strong individual style, doing justice to the unique nature of its characters.
Unique but utterly relatable, Molly O’Shea’s writing work has tapped into the brilliance of truly modern women. The strength and vivacity to it makes you immediately able to tell that it was written by a woman. It has a terrific pace to it, the dialogue is non-stop at points, hitting the comedic timing in superb fashion. It can also be quiet, reflective and melancholy with a very British sense of humour. The mix of those comedic and sad tones works well, they easily blend into one another rather than working against each other. As it brings through its romantic element in the latter moments it also adds an unexpected sweetness which makes the final scene all the more moving.
It’s an utterly brilliant piece of casting, it may not be an ensemble piece in the traditional sense but it’s such a strong group that it brings that feel regardless. Molly O’Shea confidently takes the lead but is backed up wonderfully by T’Nia Miller, Maggie O’Neill, Lise Ann McLaughlin, Ben Whishaw and Alex Lawther. The women provide a caring, supportive group for Scarlett in her time of grief while adding plenty to the film’s comedy. Whishaw is perfectly suited to such a severe role, he’s great at portraying unusual personalities. Lawther feels an unusual choice at first with his childlike looks, you don’t immediately jump to romantic interest but he has a natural, touching chemistry with O’Shea.
Miss Fortunate is a smart, funny and moving tale of grief that’s extremely relatable. The direction is colourful and sharp yet soft, the writing is fast paced yet touching and sweet. Molly O’Shea leads a brilliant cast with a poignant performance, the ensemble has superb comedic timing and feel like a perfect example of British talent.