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The Bookshop: Starring Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy & Patricia Clarkson #book2movies

Update January 4: The Bookshop will screen in February 2018 as part of the opening gala at this year’s Berlinale, the International Film Festival in Berlin.

I’ve just heard about a movie called The Bookshop based on the eponymous book by Penelope Fitzgerald. Starring Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson, the movie was released last month in Spain where it has just received 12 Goya nominations including best film, best director (Isabel Coixet), best actress for Emily Mortimer and best supporting actor for Bill Nighy. Bizarrely, there are no other release dates as of now, not publicly in any case.

Here’s the logline

Set in a small town in 1959 England, it is the story of a woman who decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop, a decision which becomes a political minefield.

What’s so political about a woman opening a bookshop, I wonder, even back in 1959. Perhaps knowing a bit more about the book will help. Let’s see how the publisher sums it up.

About the book

In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop - the only bookshop - in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town's less prosperous shopkeepers. By daring to enlarge her neighbors' lives, she crosses Mrs. Gamart, the local arts doyenne. Florence's warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn't always a town that wants one.

A culture war! And woman against woman, no less. Not exactly PC in this moment of woman power but let’s not forget women are not a monolithic entity. We have the right to be just as varied in our beliefs and actions as the men.
Anyway, I don’t know about you but this book loving movie fan could never resist a story set in a bookstore. Just watching Julia Roberts browse the book store in Notting Hill make me want to see what she’s reading.

I have no idea when—if—the film will get released in the US, the UK or beyond. Until it does, we have the trailer. What do you think?

Bibliophiles and fellow Anglophiles check in with Joy at British Isles Friday