I'm sure I had this idea once - a story fragment that flickered across my brain about the letters that fall between the cracks, the ones that never reach their destination. I'm glad I didn't try to write it - Dead Letter Office takes that idea and makes it into something much better than I would have done.
Dead Letter Office is mainly the story of Alice, played by the lovely Miranda Otto, a young woman who has been writing to her long-lost father since she was a child, with no answer. Adrift and distant, Alice takes a job at the local dead letter office of the local Australian postal service in the hopes she may find a clue about where (and who) her father is.
She does find clues there, but she also finds more than she expected. A dedicated, passionate and mysterious man runs the dead letter office, and co-workers who share that passion in some way. There's a fun scene in which they try to break their record for tracking down the intended recipient of a dead letter, using every means at their disposal and some pretty creative thinking. And then there's the file kept for the "special cases" - letters to lost loves and missing family, letters to Jesus, letters to the dead.
Dead Letter Office is a story about hope and dreams, about lovers and families, about love lost and found. It has a sense of humour and a sense of character with an eye for the oddball. If it seems a little too quirky sometimes, that's forgivable in the context of the overall story. Because most importantly, it has heart.
Dead Letter Office may be a story I wish I had written, but I'm glad I didn't. In Alice the idea is given a humanity and heart. Anything I might have written would have fallen short in comparison.