When she started writing her novel Mr. Malcolm’s List, Suzanne Allain initially thought about setting her clever love story in the present world of dating. But as she wrote it, she realized it was a perfect fit for the 19th century instead, where one woman sets out to get revenge on a man with a list of qualifications for the woman he plans to marry. Interest from director and producer Emma Holly Jones led to the creation of a short film through Refinery29 and Shatterbox.
After its online release in February 2019, the feature film version of Mr. Malcolm’s List is now arriving in theaters, with Zawe Ashton as Julia, who positions Selina (Freida Pinto) to seduce Mr. Malcolm (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù) and then embarrass him. I had the chance to speak with Jones about the resonance of this project, the process of making a short as a proof of concept, and what advice she would give to aspiring filmmakers.
You can watch the video above, and read below for an official summary and where to watch.
When she fails to meet an item on his list of requirements for a bride, Julia Thistlewaite (Zawe Ashton) is jilted by London’s most eligible bachelor, Mr. Malcolm (Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù). Feeling humiliated and determined to exact revenge, she convinces her friend Selina Dalton (Freida Pinto) to play the role of his ideal match. Soon, Mr. Malcolm wonders whether he’s found the perfect woman…or the perfect hoax. Also starring Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ashley Park, with Theo James.
Mr. Malcolm’s List opens in theaters on Friday, July 1st.