England, 1959. Free-spirited widow Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) risks
everything to open a bookshop in a conservative East Anglian coastal town.
While bringing about a surprising cultural awakening through works by Ray
Bradbury and Vladimir Nabokov, she earns the polite but ruthless opposition
of a local grand dame (Patricia Clarkson) and the support and affection of
a reclusive book loving widower (Bill Nighy). As Florence’s obstacles amass
and bear suspicious signs of a local power struggle, she is forced to ask:
is there a place for a bookshop in a town that may not want one? Based on
Penelope Fitzgerald’s acclaimed novel and directed by Isabel Coixet
(Learning to Drive), The Bookshop is an elegant yet incisive rendering of
personal resolve, tested in the battle for the soul of a community.
The Bookshop is set in the 1950’s and feels as if it could have been made
by Ealing Studios in the 1950’s.
This charming period piece is a slow burner but if you sit back and let its
charm waft over you you’ll be rewarded by a wonderfully acted and charming
film, the likes of which we don’t often see nowadays.
Emily Mortimer is without a doubt the star of the show and shines in every
scene that she’s in. However Mortimer’s fine performance doesn’t detract
from the rest of the cast, Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson give their
usual top notch performance but the surprise of the film is young Honor
Kneafsey who particularly steals ever scene that she’s in.
If you enjoy nostalgic 1950’s whimsy films then The Bookshop will be right
up your street.