I went to see the ‘The Bookshop’ preview this week with thanks to the Time Out Bookstore at the Rialto Cinema in Newmarket.
Florence Green is played well by Emily Mortimer moving to a quaint old English town with the dream of turning an old house into a bookshop. The English town full of all the stereotypes of village life in the fifties, some scenes were a bit cliche, particularly the gossip with town folk and reactions to Florence’s new business in a closed conservative class concious community.
Florence has an uphill battle with Mrs Gamart who wants to turn the old house into an Arts Centre. Florence was played superbly by Patricia Clarkson and perfected the art of upperclass control in a way that made my blood curdle. She will stop at nothing to take control of the old house.
Florence receives a strange request to send books to an old recluse Mr Brundish who she has seen walking the marshes. Mr Brundish comes alive with the awkward acting of Bill Nighy. The references to Ray Bradbury and Mr Brundish’s love of his novels were humorous and gave some light relief to the story. Watching their friendship develop is enjoyable and we are all hoping for a happy ending between the two.
Without giving to much away about the film there were aspects that were enjoyable and if you are interested in books there will be some fond reminiscing as familiar titles are drawn into the plot. The film plays on human complexities and confused relationships made even more convoluted by the culture of the community. After a light start, the challenges become more grim and even darker still moving to the ending.