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The Bookshop

England in the 1950s. Florence Green has a big dream. She wants to open a bookshop in the small fishing village Hardborough. Her friendly and brave untertaking is met with unexpected resistance from the local cultural elite.


England in the 1950s. Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) has a big dream. She wants to open a bookstore in the small fishing village of Hardborough in Suffolk on the east coast of England. She purchased a dilapidated “Old House“ near the port with her savings and is now in process of renovating it with great care. Her brave untertaking is met with unexpected resistance. The fishermen who don‘t read books aren‘t the real problem, it‘s the local cultural elites, especially the grande dame of the area, Violet Gamart and her right-hand man Milo North, a BBC journalist with a suspicious amount of time on his hands, that feel stepped on. They would prefer to have a chic cultural center in the Old House and they definitely don‘t want an independent single woman who does what she wants like bringing progressive literature like Fahrenheit 451 and Lolita to the place.

Adapted from the novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, Isabel Coixet directs in a calm and unagitated way as Florence works on realizing her dream. She gently unpacked the first boxes with the new books and engages with a little girl from the neighborhood who helps her in the afternoons. When the eccentric hermit of the village Mr. Brundish (Bill Nighy) asks her to mail him some interesting books, Florence sends him Ray Bradbury and lays the foundation of a cautious friendship. She barely reacts to the intrigues that are spun about her. That‘s why the THE BOOKSHOP is lacking in tension, Isabel Coixet isn‘t interested in telling a success story. What makes Florence a hero isn‘t that she battles a hostile environment – that‘s not her style – but rather that she does what she intended on doing without wavering, no matter where it leads or whether it is honored.

Toni Ohms

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: The Bookshop
Spanien/Großbritannien/Deutschland 2017, 110 min
Language: English
Genre: Drama
Director: Isabel Coixet
Author: Isabel Coixet
DOP: Jean-Claude Larrieu
Montage: Bernat Aragonès
Music: Alfonso de Vilallonga
Distributor: Capelight Pictures
Cast: Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson, Frances Barber
Release: 10.05.2018


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