This evening, Jane and I popped down to the Ultimate Picture Palace on Jeune Street (off Cowley Road) to watch The Bookshop (2017). The film features both a harridan and a cad and I hope it isn’t too much of a spoiler to suggest that they don’t get quite the come-uppance that would make it more easily palatable. I like to think of my tastes as quite sophisticated but I have to admit it that I love it when villains are pilloried and heroes come out clearly on top.
However, there are are heroes and all the more courageous for finding themselves in a universe that steers away from the fairy tale end of things. The hermit, the book seller and I think I would also include the book seller’s apprentice. The cinematography and sound track (not too much music but some effective work and a wealth of ambient sound contributing to scene setting) also deserve a mention.
For those who can cope with an unhurried pace, plenty of awkwardness and some glimmers of a grace that goes deeper than mere whitewashing, this is a film to savour.