Starring: Lily James, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Michiel Huisman, Katherine Parkinson, Glen Powell, Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtenay, Kit Connor
Director: Mike Newell
Release date: 20th April 2018
The year is 1941 and World War II is at its’ height. On the Island of Guernsey, a small group of friends are out celebrating getting their hands on some prohibited pork. On their way home, they are stopped by some German soldiers and questioned. They make up a story about being a book club meeting and fortunately for them, they are believed and let go on their way… Flash forward to 1946 and respected author, Juliet Ashton (Lily James) She is searching for a new place to live and is engaged to a dashing American GI. One day she receives a letter in the post from a man who tells her that he is looking for a particular book and hopes that she can help him. He tells her that he is part of a book club in Guernsey, called ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’. She is immediately drawn in by the story of their group and decides that she will go and meet the book club members. She arrives and is met by Eben Ramsey (Tom Courtenay). He gives her a short tour and she rents a room in the local boarding house. Her reception by the club members is very mixed and it soon becomes obvious that there’s a lot more to their story than she’s being told…
Based on the best-selling historical novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, the movie is much more visual, whereas the book is written as a series of letters between the characters. It was published back in 2008.
I really enjoy movies set in war-time… there’s a real sense of camaraderie between people who are just trying to stay alive. People are looking out for eachother and are respectful of others, unlike what you might see of society these days.
An amazing cast of actors, including one of my favourites, Tom Courtenay (45 Years, Quartet, The Golden Compass). He just has one of those amazing voices.. other examples include Simon Callow or Sir Ian McKellen). The small group that makes up the Society includes another amazing actress, in the form of Penelope Wilton. What an incredible actress. Her character in this story, Amelia Maughery has known much loss in her life, and she plays it with such subtlety. She nearly brought me to tears during some parts in the film. She always seems to bring something new and tangible to any role she plays. I’m gradually warming to Lily James. She’s grown into a really great actress, and the part of Juliet Ashton almost seems written for her. Michiel Huisman’s character, Dawsey Adams is almost ‘Heathcliffian’ in his appearance and it’s pretty obvious from the moment he and Juliet meet, that there’s something between them. The movie is also a bit of a ‘love letter to Guernsey’. Sweeping moors and picturesque cottages; a very idyllic setting.
I really loved ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’. A really great story, fantastic cast (especially Tom Courtenay!) and very watchable.
If you’re looking for a movie with a great heart-warming story with great acting, but that’s tinged with a tiny bit of sadness (but in a good way) then give ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ a watch. You won’t regret it. I think I might just go and watch it again.