The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the screen version of the best selling book written by Mary Ann Schafer. The Society was formed by accident during the German occupation in the second world war. But as the group meets for book reading sessions they create a long-lasting bond. Enter Juliet Ashton, a writer from London who starts to write letters to one of the society, a pig farmer Dawsey Adams. Intrigued by the societies passion for literature, Juliet takes herself to Guernsey to meet the group. Predictably, Juliet is overwhelmed by the experience finding a fateful connection that will turn her life upside down.
Directed by Mike Newell, who has a catalog of nice British films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral. Newell has perfected this style, but this film could be seen as overly sweet. However, the camera work is stunning soaking up the beautiful scenery creating a comfortable dreamy setting. Newell does a great job in capturing the period, but the harsh truths of the occupation are somewhat skimmed over. I could not help feel, a stronger look at this side of the story would have given more substance.
Although the film focuses on a limited number of people, they are a diverse interesting group each with a tale to tell. The casting for this film is great and thoroughly well acted with a couple of real standouts. Lily James and Michiel Huisman display genuine chemistry. Katherine Parkinson gives a convincing performance as a quirky lover of homemade gin. But Matthew Goode and Penelope Wilton both gave powerful performances. Especially Penelope Wilton whose crushing pain really cuts deep.
As good old fashioned nostalgic love stories go, this is as cliche and predictable as it gets. But good if you are tired of all the bad in life and are looking for something nice to watch. Grab yourself a nice tweed blanket, get a good pot of English tea on the go and grab the biscuits. Head to Amazon and watch The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – it's sure to make you feel all nice inside.