The Bookshop (Parent And Baby Screening) (PG)



Click Here For More Parents and Baby Screenings >>

Drama (2017)
113mins UK/Sp/Ger

Starring: Honor Kneafsey, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Nighy, Emily Mortimer, James Lance
Director: Isabel Coixet
Writer(s): Isabel Coixet
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Florence Green arrives in Hardborough in 1959 with the intention of transforming an abandoned property known as the Old House into a quaint book shop. She employs a young girl, Christine Gilling, as an assistant and sends parcels of books to the reclusive Edmund Brundish. Florence is painfully unaware that the town's most influential resident, Violent Gamart, intends to open an arts centre in the Old House and can exploit her nephew's political ties to orchestrate a compulsory purchase.

Seen that movie? Leave a comment / review here >>

LondonNet Film Review
The Bookshop (PG)

In an early scene from Spanish writer-director Isabel Coixet's adaptation of Penelope Fitzgerald's novel, which establish a sombre tone and pedestrian pace, one kindly resident of the Suffolk coastal town of Hardborough complains that reading is a physical ordeal for a working man. "Books leave me exhausted," despairs the seafarer. "Real life's enough for me." Alas, the big screen version of The Bookshop also inspires an unshakable weariness despite committed performances from Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy as the only residents of the close-knit community, willing to surrender themselves to the intoxicating power of the written word. Shot on location in Northern Ireland and Spain, Coixet's well-crafted portrait of narrow-mindedness and petty rivalry is crammed with a bewildering array of accents far from the maddening, parochial crowd that emerges vividly on the page. Lethargic direction and writing permeate the performances, begging us to question why anyone of sound mind would choose to move to a town that stands still and glares icily at the changing times. Alongside Mortimer and Nighy, 13-year-old Honor Kneafsey imbues her precocious tyke with steeliness and an acute understanding of human foibles beyond her tender years. Oscar nominee Patricia Clarkson, who mastered the fine art of weaponised wordplay in Far From Heaven, is curiously out of sorts here as a scheming high society doyenne. Her hate campaign against the naive heroine should cut to the bone but it barely breaks the skin...

The Bookshop. Caption: Patricia Clarkson as Violent Gamart and James Lance as Milo North in The Bookshop, directed by Isabel Coixet. Copyright: Vertigo Releasing. All Rights Reserved.Florence Green (Mortimer) arrives in Hardborough in 1959 with the intention of transforming an abandoned property known as the Old House into a quaint book shop. She employs a young girl, Christine Gilling (Kneafsey), as an assistant and sends parcels of books to her only regular customer, the reclusive Edmund Brundish (Nighy), beginning with Kingsley Amis's comic novel That Uncertain Feeling, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and the collected poems of Philip Larkin. Florence is painfully unaware that the town's most influential resident, Violent Gamart (Clarkson), intends to open an arts centre in the Old House and isn't beyond exploiting her nephew's political ties to orchestrate a compulsory purchase.

While many of the locals including bank manager Mr Keble (Hunter Tremayne), seamstress Jessie (Frances Barber) and scout master Mr Raven (Michael Fitzgerald) silently condone the underhand scheme, Mr Brundish threatens to break ranks and admonish Mrs Gamart. "I could just put a bullet through her brain," he jokes to Florence, "but I'm not sure that's to your liking."

The Bookshop employs superfluous narration, reminiscent of Call The Midwife, to hammer home the naivete of Mortimer's outsider, who dares to put Nabokov's scandalous Lolita in a window display. A couple of emotionally charged scenes with Nighy's stuttering protector threaten to spark the film to life, to no avail. Coixet's film is like watching a printer's ink dry.

- Jo Planter

The Bookshop. Caption: Honor Kneafsey as Christine and Emily Mortimer as Florence Green in The Bookshop, directed by Isabel Coixet. Copyright: Vertigo Releasing. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 13th July
To Thursday 19th July

- JW3 Cinema
From Friday 20th July
To Thursday 26th July

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


« Back to Index

Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 13th July
To Thursday 19th July

- Cleethorpes, Parkway Cinema
- Manchester, HOME
From Friday 20th July
To Thursday 26th July

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


« Back to Index