2 hr. 3 min. | Rated M | Adult themes
Starring: Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Jessica Brown Findlay
THE Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society is a very different type of British film. This is cinema as comfort food: warming, fluffy and drenched in nostalgia. We begin with an explanation of that mouthful of a title.
We’re in Nazi-occupied Guernsey, watching four wobbly figures wend their way through the night and are stopped by a German patrol. Elizabeth, the sharpest of the bunch (Jessica Brown Findlay), hits on an ingenious excuse for why they have broken their curfew.Like all good subjects of the Third Reich, they have been dutifully studying the classics of German literature.Tom Courtenay may be looking worse-for-wear but he definitely hasn’t been drinking contraband hooch. His bad tummy is down to the dodgy, but entirely legal, pie cooked up from leftovers from the plundered farms.
With that mystery solved, Four Weddings And A Funeral director Mike Newell gets on with a romantic comedy.
We’re now in London in 1946, and winsome young writer Juliet Ashton (Lily James) is mulling over her next career move.
A letter from Guernsey suggests a newspaper feature. So, after a dockside proposal from her slick American beau (Glen Powell), she heads to the Channel Islands to meet the members of the book and spud club, which is still meeting, still boozing, but now reading actual books.
As she gets to know the bunch of lovable eccentrics and exchanges glances with Michiel Huisman’s dangerously dishy pig farmer, flashbacks to occupation hint at a dark secret.
Some may require more grit in their war movies but this tasty mash-up of the detective mystery and the swooning romance is witty, big-hearted, and relentlessly charming.