Film Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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The title is a mouthful, I can tell you that much, but beyond that is in fact a well directed and excellently cast film, as director Mike Newell has put together a historical drama that hits all the notes you would want a romantic film such as this to hit with creative directing techniques and storytelling creates a compelling and delightful drama.

The film  is set in 1946. World War 2 has just finished and the United Kingdom is just recovering from the ravages of the war. Our female lead, Juliet Ashton (Lily James), is an up-and-coming young author whose latest release is met by increasing popularity. While enjoying the high-life and the attentions of her partner Mark (Glen Powell), Juliet begins receiving letters from a man by the name of Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman) who lives on the island of Guernsey. Dawsey is simply interested in a book from Juliet that he came across but the letters exchanged between the two peak Juliet’s interest to the point that she travels to Guernsey to learn more about Dawsey’s fascinating and mysterious book club.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is altogether a well-crafted film. The pacing of the story hits a rhythm with the mysteries of the society unfolding at good pace to keep the audience intrigued and engaged. Some creative shooting techniques, using matching scene transitions and sharp sound cuts creates a beautiful and captivating film. The acting and character work supplied by the main cast and supporting actors create vivid and likable personalities regardless of each person’s screentime. All of this comes together to present a film which is an incredibly compelling romance. Being a romance film, it isn’t without it’s tropes. Stripped down to its bare bones the film boils down to, rich girl falls in love with poor farmer which is as typical of the genre as you can expect. That said there is so much meat to this film that I feel it actually revitalises this kind of story while giving lovers of the genre everything they could possibly want.

The film is also a kind of love letter to the island of Guernsey (despite being shot in Devon). Beautiful scenery and long sweeping shots allows you to take in the homely country view that Guernsey (or Devon) have to offer. Designed as a sure post card for the UK island.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a thoroughly enjoyable film. A sure hit with romance gurus and plenty of substance and style to entertain all other film goers too.

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