A Unique Book Club
Don’t let the long title of this film put you off. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a wonderful movie. It shows how one book can bring together two very different people who live far apart. And the charming Lily James (Mamma Mia 2!) gives another terrific performance, this time as a big-city author whose life changes because of a visit to Guernsey Island, where she expects to write an article about the local residents. During her time there, she forms a special bond with the place and its inhabitants.
James’ strong supporting cast members also deliver memorable turns in this touching and very entertaining offering. I have to admit falling for every one of the colorful characters, but especially the thoughtful pig farmer Dawsey Adams, played by Michiel Huisman (Irreplaceable You). Fortunately, Huisman and James make a very watchable couple. They project a sweet chemistry with each other on screen.
Director Mike Newell (Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire) and his casting director Susie Figgis brought together a splendid cast that also includes Tom Courtenay, Penelope Wilton, Katherine Parkinson, Jessica Brown Findlay,Matthew Goode, Glen Powell and Kit Connor.
After World War II on Guernsey,
a writer found a mystery.
To solve it she faced causing pain,
losing friends, and nothing to gain.
Why was this unique book club formed?
Don’t write about it she was warned.
A darling child and missing mom,
are keys to this potential bomb.
A mouthful is the title here.
But this film makes you want to cheer.
History, mystery and romance
come together like a fine dance.
Surprises and a lovely man
help our writer make a good plan.
The story and acting are first-rate.
So see it now. You shouldn’t wait!
Based on the book of the same name by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, the movie comes across as a superb period piece emphasizing love, friendship, compassion and loyalty. Although not having read the book, I suspect that Don Roos, Kevin Hood and Thomas Bezucha turned in an excellent adapted screenplay. Kudos also to Zac Nicholson for the beautiful cinematography and Charlotte Walter for those authentic costumes, which helped me feel like I was right there in most of the scenes.
Frankly, I didn’t want this special film to end.
Our Friday night book club became a refuge to us. A private freedom to feel the world growing darker all around you, but you only need a candle to see new worlds unfold. That is what we found in our society. – Dawsey Adams
(Released by Netflix; rated TV-MA)
For more information about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes site.)