Florence Green (Emily Mortimer), is a free-spirited widow in 1950's England. Moving on from the death of her husband, she puts grief behind her and risks everything to open up a bookshop - the first in a sleepy seaside town. Facing considerable local opposition, most notably from wannabe doyenne of the arts scene Mrs. Gamart (Patricia Clarkson), Florence finds a kindred spirit in Mr. Brundish (Bill Nighy), himself sick of the town's stale atmosphere. When Florence refuses to bend to Gamart's will, they begin a struggle not just for the bookshop but for the very heart and soul of the town.
A strong contender for the worst film I have ever seen. The direction was appalling, the cameraman was obsessed with trees doing nothing, the editor allowed the pointless footage to be shown, Patricia Clarkson was expressionless (although you did get the impression she wondered what on earth she was doing there) and Emily Mortimer gurned instead of acting.
The only redeeming feature was Bill Nighy's untypically restrained performance which was genuinely endearing.
And I paid for a cinema ticket. I should have asked for my money back, like they do in the US.
My husband and I loved this film. The cinematography is wonderful, there are absolutely beautiful and mesmerising shots. The pace is gentle and delightful, and the acting is absolutely superb. I don't know what he other reviewers were expecting - but this film fulfilled all of my expectations and indeed, exceeded them. While it is not exactly a sad, because the characters are so strong and defy you to feel sorry for them, it has a powerful message. If you like quirky films with great characters/actors and wonderful shots - you will love this film.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
Slow but moving at the end
- The Bookshop review by SM
The first half of the film I did find slow but I became more and more involved with the characters. Bill Nighy gives one of his best performances without his usual mannerisms. The plot develops more in the second half and it was enjoyable to watch a film about characters rather than car chases.
Not for everyone but for those who enjoy a traditional story-telling, it is a find.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
Slow but gentle and relaxing.
- The Bookshop review by bijou
Rather slow but well acted . Change to watch a film with no sex or swearing. Shows how difficult it is for the ordinary person to go against the powers that be.
Pity about the negative reviews, obviously given by people who do not appreciate a beautifully acted story without lots of swearing, violence and special effects !
The good news is that people who DO appreciate a gem of a movie can now see for themselves, on dvd, just how GOOD the Bookshop is.
I thought the story was mush deeper than I had been led to believe , due to the wonderful acting and script. Special mention must go to Bill Nighy who gives a career best performance as does Emily Mortimer, in a subtle but strong lady, recently widowed but determined to succeed with her dream of opening a bookshop despite local resistance from some of the towns bigoted residents .
Special mention for the young girl who helps out in the bookshop in the afternoons, a lovely, assured performance.
If you enjoy a good movie please give the Bookshop a viewing.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
Showed up Society has not Chaged
- The Bookshop review by KW
Interesting film that showed up society as it was where the powerful deperate for their gong will go out of their way to ruin the lives of anyone who gets in there way. Patricia Clarkson's character was the classic example of those who have gone before and after to get there way no matter how many lives they ruin. My major gripe was that apart from the main characters, the rest were so feeble that the actors had nothing to get their teeth into and were just going through the motions. A film with better direction and script could have been so much better!
Actually folk acting. No swearing or violence. Has to be at least a 3 for not being chainsaw 28. No poor actors, and some well executed support cameos.
Have to say it must be a very wealthy 1959 village, where every car must be brand new! In 1959 there were very few cars, and most were black. Although my brother did have an Austin Ruby for £5 that was hand painted white and blue.............
Agree with Waste of Time review above, tediously slow, appalling acting, set in Northern Ireland when it should have been Suffolk. The occasional nice view, ridiculous costumes, unbearably whimsical...
We enjoyed this even more than Penelope Fitzgerald's novel. Riveting playing by Bill Nighy who is never afraid of being still and by Emily Mortimer. Enhanced by the calm, unhurried tempo, free from irrelevant distractions such as intrusive music. And free from the trendy sensationalism so prevalent in current American/English cinema.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
a good cast could not save it
- The Bookshop review by AR
A good cast were let down by a plodding script and a director who missed the chance to change the pace. I'm not sure if the editor was sticking to the brief but this old fashioned story of small town politics needed cuts. Unless you are an extra in this film, I'd give it a miss.