About the film
Director: Isabel Coixet
Actors: Patricia Clarkson, Bill NighyThe Bookshop is an adaptation of Penelope Fitzgerald’s 1978 Booker-nominated novel about suppressed emotions, class discrimination and fear of the unfamiliar.
Featuring Emily Mortimer as dreamy war widow Florence Green, who moves to the pretty seaside town of Hardborough, Suffolk in 1957 with the aim of setting up a bookshop in a rundown property, the Old House, which she’s bought.
All is not tea, crumpets and cardigans as there is fierce opposition by local influencer Violet Gamart (in a glacial, tight-lipped performance by Patricia Clarkson).
The two women’s tussle over a single dilapidated, damp-afflicted property is really a larger fight for the soul of the town. Battle lines are drawn, and allies are found.
A most reluctant hero, local recluse and widow Mr. Brundish (a compellingly quiet and intense Bill Nighy), is sympathetic to Florence’s cause, sensing that Hardborough needs her liberal idealism.
Directed by Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet (Elegy, Learning to Drive), The Bookshop ruefully pits conservative, heritage-fixated nostalgia against liberal progressiveness.
Best enjoyed with a lush red wine to spark up the nostalgia of your favourite musty antique book shop.