Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson
Set in 1959, The Bookshop sees a young widow foil local opposition to expand her community’s cultural horizons. Based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel, it’s directed by Isabel Coixet (My Life Without Me, The Secret Life of Words), stars Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy and Patricia Clarkson and has been selected to screen in a special gala in the Official Selection of the Berlinale 2018, after winning Best Film and Best Director at Spain’s Goya Awards.
Free spirited Florence Green (Mortimer) is trying to put grief behind her, and decides to open a bookshop – the first such shop in the sleepy seaside town of Hardborough, England. Fighting damp, cold and considerable local apathy, she initially struggles to establish herself before her fortunes begin to change for the better.
By exposing the conservative local townsfolk to the best literature of the day, including Nabokov’s scandalising Lolita and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, she initiates a kind of cultural awakening and a new commitment to openness, learning and exchange. Her activities bring her a kindred spirit and ally in the figure of Mr Brundish (Nighy) who is himself sick of the town’s stale atmosphere. But they also bring her fierce enemies, including the town’s less prosperous shopkeepers and the redoubtable Mrs. Gamart (Clarkson).