A correspondence begins between Juliet Ashton (Lily James) and members of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, with them sharing their experiences of Nazi-occupied Guernsey Island. When an idea for a book catches Juliet, she goes to visit the island, making life-long friends and taking life changing steps along the way. This book is told by way of letters, and as the reader, you become enchanted by the writers of them and the love Juliet comes to feel for each of the Islanders; Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman), Amelia Maugery (Dame Penelope Wilton), Isola Pribby (Katherine Parkinson), Eben Ramsey (Sir Tom Courtenay), Kit (Florence Keen), and Elizabeth McKenna (Jessica Brown Findlay).Written by
A nicely baked pie that isn't cooked all the way through but has enough filling to make it edible
Saw 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' as a fan of period drama, as someone who is trying to watch as many films of the year as possible and who likes a lot of the actors in the cast. It's great enough seeing such talent on their own, and even more of a delight to have so much talent together.
The idea for the story was also very interesting and it was nice to see a film based in a fairly under-explored period of wartime history. The title was not hugely appetising though. Seeing the film with my sister yesterday, found 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' to be a pleasant and well done if falling short of great film. It is engrossing enough and should have enough to appeal to a reasonable sized audience, it may appeal more to older audiences but those who want to know more about this period of wartime history or want to gain some knowledge of it should get something out of it.
Not a perfect film by all means. Will admit to having a good idea of, well actually knowing, how 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' was going to end well before it ended, with the love-related aspect of the story being telegraphed a little too early.
Didn't care for the character of Mark. Despite him serving some point to the story, with a crucial part of the plot being resolved with his involvement, he was rather one-dimensional and didn't have much personality or anything to make one endear to him (he also behaves like a jerk later on). Within the period, he seemed a little out of place. The same goes for how he is played. Matthew Goode's part was also on the underwritten side but he was much easier to like.
Pacing at times could have been tighter, some draggy spots here and there.
However, there is an awful lot to like about 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'. The production values and cast are the biggest selling points. It's a beautifully shot film with very handsomely evocative production and costume design that does give one a real sense of period.
Even better are the cast, with Lily James a charming and very rootable lead and Michiel Huisman cutting a handsome presence. Their chemistry is warm and tender. Tom Courtenay is understated and amusing, having one of the film's best lines near the end, while Penelope Wilton as the most rounded supporting character is heart-wrenching. Jessica Brown Findley is also strong.
Mike Newell does solidly directing, not exceptional but he skilfully stops 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' from being too frothy or too intense. The script is thought-provoking, with some tension and a lot of emotion. The end credits were a lovely touch. A good job is done showing what living in the period and before was like while not being too one-sided. There is genuine emotional power here, with a back-story and main conflict, centring around the consequences of significant loss, that provides a lot of poignancy and hope.
One does feel the love and friendship between the characters and there are some nice revelations along the way in solving this intriguing story where one hopes for a happy outcome to the mystery/mission dominating it. The music, when used, is neither intrusive or too low-key.
In summary, good, pleasant and engaging film that could have been even better. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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