Opening a bookstore was Isabel Coixet’s “plan B,” but from what we can tell, she likely won’t need one. The incredible director, whose previous films include LEARNING TO DRIVE and THE SECRET LIFE OF WORDS, fell in love with the story and knew she had to make THE BOOKSHOP come to life on the big screen.
Coixet connected with the main charter in the book, and then connected with the lead actress – Emily Mortimer – equally as much. Despite the simplicity of getting those elements in place, the actual making of the film was more of a challenge. Coixet elaborates on that, here:
Alongside Mortimer, the film’s two other leads are played by Oscar nominee Patricia Clarkson (PIECES OF APRIL, LEARNING TO DRIVE) and Bill Nighy (THEIR FINEST, THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL). Coixet says of Nighy, “this guy is amazing… everything he does – every little thing – is meaningful, every gesture.” She also describes Nighy as a “casanova” and elaborates on that here:
When it came to the look of the film, Coixet wanted the bookshop to feel like the coziest place in the world, while the home of Nighy’s character was kept on the more dull and solemn side. She also drew inspiration from the works of filmmaker Michael Powell, and chats about that here:
About the film:
England, 1959. Free-spirited widow Florence (Emily Mortimer) risks everything to open a bookshop. While bringing about a surprising cultural awakening through works by Ray Bradbury and Vladimir Nabokov, she earns the polite but ruthless opposition of a local grand dame (Patricia Clarkson) and the support and affection of a reclusive book loving widower (Bill Nighy). Based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s acclaimed novel and directed by Isabel Coixet (LEARNING TO DRIVE), THE BOOKSHOP is an elegant yet incisive rendering of personal resolve, tested in the battle for the soul of a community.
View the trailer:
Where to see it: