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England, 1959. Free-spirited widow Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) risks everything to open a bookshop in a conservative East Anglian coastal town. While bringing about a surprising cultural awakening through works by Ray Bradbury and Vladimir Nabokov, she earns the polite but ruthless opposition of a local grand dame (Patricia Clarkson) and the support and affection of a reclusive book loving widower (Bill Nighy). As Florence's obstacles amass and bear suspicious signs of a local power struggle, she is forced to ask: is there a place for a bookshop in a town that may not want one? Based on Penelope Fitzgerald's acclaimed novel and directed by Isabel Coixet (Learning to Drive), The Bookshop is an elegant yet incisive rendering of personal resolve, tested in the battle for the soul of a community.
Before end credits, there is a dedication to John Berger. See more »
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The veteran actors and picturesque setting were not quite enough to make up for the weak plot in this period drama.
Emily Mortimer plays a widow who opens a bookshop in a derelict house in a tranquil English village. She is opposed by an aristocratic snob played by Patricia Clarkson who decides that the town would be better served if the house were to be used as an arts center. Bill Nighy plays the literature-living recluse who comes to Mortimer's aid when the battle lines have been drawn.
Mortimer, Nighy, and Clarkson were a joy to watch, but they didn't have much to work with. I left the cinema disappointed that the movie had only scratched the surface of what could have been a meaty portrayal of courage and determination in the face of societal prejudice.
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