3 Goya awards: Best film, screenplay, director
Frustrating, sad, unfair, determined, soulful. Whatever was won in truth and understanding in the end came at a large sacrifice to others.
Nighy has never given a more moving performance, and few others have. There is a melting tenderness in his longing to be at ease with others, and his inability to recover that lost art.
Killer Movie Reviews
This subdued period adaptation starring the wonderful Mortimer celebrates the magic of books and bookstores.
Common Sense Media
Florence Green, a free-spirited widow, puts grief behind her and risks everything to open up a bookshop – the first such shop in the sleepy seaside town of Hardborough, England. But this mini social revolution soon brings her fierce enemies: she invites the hostility of the town’s less prosperous shopkeepers and also crosses Mrs. Gamart, Harborough’s vengeful, embittered alpha female who is a wannabe doyenne of the local arts scene.
Based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s acclaimed novel, the film is an elegant yet incisive rendering of personal resolve, tested in the battle for the soul of a community.
Perhaps only a non-British film-maker could have brought out the strangeness of this story: it is a subdued, rather miserable film, interestingly perceptive on conformism and philistinism as a way of life, and on the disconcerting wiles the inhabitants use in order to thwart Florence’s entirely reasonable plans.
Spain 2017, 108 min, rated PG (coarse language)
Directed by Isabel Coixet
Starring Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Nighy, Honor Kneafsey & James Lance