The Letter Room Image

The Letter Room

By Alan Ng | November 14, 2020

HOLLYSHORTS 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Richard (Oscar Isaac) is the corrections officer you want in your prisons. He has authority but a heart of gold as well. He speaks to the inmates as if they are human beings, which they are. For his trouble, Richard is given the transfer he’s asked for in Elvira Lind’s short film, The Letter Room.

Richard has now been promoted to Director of Prisoner Communications. As he begins to rattle off some great ideas to his superior, Richard is immediately shut down and told that his job is to go through all communications, i.e., letters, between the inmates and the outside world. His duties include opening all mail, scanning each letter, and delivering them as well.

“…to go through all communications, i.e., letters, between the inmates and the outside world.”

When he is walking through the corridors of death row, he is stopped by Jackson (John Douglas Thompson), who has not heard from his daughter in years and begs Richard to recheck the database as he’s sure the previous director was not delivering his mail.

The Letter Room follows Richard’s attempt to covertly bring humanity back to the prison system. It’s a touching story, and Oscar Isaac brings a wealth of humanity to Richard. So much so that Richard becomes too involved in the private lives of the prisoners. It’s sweet, heart-warming, and evokes a little pathos.

The Letter Room screened at the 2020 Hollyshorts Film Festival.

The Letter Room (2020)

Directed and Written: Elvira Lind

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Alia Shawkat, Eileen Galindo, Tony Gillan, John Douglas Thompson, Michael Hernandez, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

The Letter Room Image

"…attempt to covertly bring humanity back to the prison system."

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