The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – MOVIE REVIEW
Review by Geoff Jenke
“It feels like emerging from a long dark tunnel into a carnival”. So, spoke the lead character, author Juliet Ashton (played by Lily James) about her life in 1946 London. Juliet is a charismatic and free-spirited writer who receives a letter from a member of a mysterious literary club started on the island of Nazi-occupied Guernsey. Her curiosity piqued, Juliet decides to visit the island. There she meets the delightfully eccentric members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, including Dawsey (Michiel Huisman), the intriguing farmer who wrote her the letter. Mysteries from their wartime past unfold and Juliet is determined to get to the bottom of their dark secrets.
The movie title certainly is a mouthful but the movie itself it a charming post World War 2 romp. Juliet seems to have a great life in London, despite London still recovering from the way. She is being courted by a wealthy American, going to dances and attending lavish dances. Her books have been successful but she is restless, wanting more out of life. The decision to go to the island of Guernsey becomes a life changing decision.
Watching the film, it took a while to decide which way it would go. It becomes predictable but at the same time still wonderful to watch. The photography is brilliant, the scenery lovely and the acting first class. The film does jump back and forward, telling the stories of how the Society came to be during the war and what happened under German occupation and what is “current” day, 1946. There are a few times it has you guessing what will happen next, but generally it is just a delightful detective type story.
Overall, forget the awkward title and just sit back and be seduced by the warmth this very British movie has to offer.