8 Heartbreaking Voiceover Letters In Films

God, the voiceover letter. You know the one. Where someone’s left someone else, or died, and has the cheek to write a devastating letter about it and then read it out aloud in the recipient's head. Then some subtle, emotive music starts playing over the top of the penman's voice as the poor reader and you – the far too invested watcher – begin to realise that the person who wrote the letter is in fact the only person you'll ever truly love.

There are letters that serve the plot – think Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Atonement – and then there are voiceover letters, which more often than not have nothing to do with the plot, existing solely to make you cry. Taking an already devastating scene and burying it in a black hole of despair, the voiceover letter is the screenwriter's final calling card – more powerful, even, than the death itself.

Better suited to the period drama because a voiceover email just doesn't pack the same punch, the voiceover letter is a rare commodity in modern cinema. Here, we relay the eight films we could think of containing the tragic trope.