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Bookshop, The  (DVD)


Stars: Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson, James Lance, Frances Barber. Narrator: Julie Christie

Director: Isabel Coixet

A lovingly-shot, but rather sterile, not to mention lengthy drama, made by a Spanish director in Northern Ireland, but set (in the late 1950s) in a small English coastal town, where resident Florence Green (Mortimer), a wartime widow, decides to channel her love of books into the opening of a small bookshop in a disused property.

This incurs the wrath of the town dowager, the vicious 'Lady Violet' (Clarkson), who wants to turn the 'old house' into an arts centre. If this seems odd, it's even stranger that the old bat didn't buy the property from under the naive Florence's nose in the first place.

But she doesn't, and the bookshop, the apple of Florence's eye, soon begins to get by, while Flo herself makes the acquaintance through books of the town recluse, Edmund Brundish (Nighy), reputedly a widower whose bride died on honeymoon.

Although Mortimer, Nighy and Clarkson are all good (the kid rather less so), Mortimer's character is so insufferably nice (wet, even) that's it's tough to root for her, evil though Lady V might be.

David Quinlan

Spain/UK 2017. UK Distributor: Vertigo (MGM). Colour (unspecified).
108 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 21 Oct 2018