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The Bookshop

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The Bookshop is a sumptuous cinematic adaptation which celebrates Bibliophilia itself. Based on Penelope Fitzgerald's celebrated novel of 1978, and set in a sleepy 1950's English town, The Bookshop tells the story of Florence Green's ultimately doomed attempt to re-energise an out of touch, morally somnambulant rural townsfolk through the dissemination of some of the most stirring literature of the day. Leaving grief and a dead husband in the past, Florence takes life into her own hands by opening a bookshop in Hardborough, a quiet Anglian town, and one sheltered from the social and sexual revolutions taking place in the far away urban centres. Through the dissemination of classic contemporary works of fiction such as Nabokov's Lolita and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, she stirs long buried feelings in the townsfolk and in particular in the reclusive Mr Brundish with whom she subsequently strikes up a deep bond. But her actions bring the wrath of the controlling, vengeful Violet Gamart, a local social doyenne who is jealously affronted by the changes our heroine has affected.
113 min
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Sight and Sound
Coixet's comfortable approach to Fitzgerald's material rarely rises above a simmer, favouring polite conversations laced with passive-aggressive intent.
February 19, 2018
Daily Telegraph (UK)
Coixet's script is a long way off perfect, but it's the least of her problems; the second least is the film's dirge of a score, but even that's a bummer.
February 19, 2018
Times (UK)
It doesn't help that the film is pulverised by wall-to-wall narration.
February 16, 2018
Screen International
Ironically, given the subject, the script is stilted, with actors often stuck on pause and not even the silver-tongued Nighy able to coax more than a laugh or two from his lines.
February 19, 2018
A fine, sensitive leading turn from Emily Mortimer helps shore up these quiet, lightly dust-covered proceedings, but can't quite put "The Bookshop" in the black.
February 16, 2018
Measured and thoughtful, yet emotionally unengaging...
May 22, 2018
The Bookshop ends up as a fine advertisement for its namesake. Buy the book and stay home.
May 17, 2018