At the end of the 1950s, a young widow named Florence Green decides to put her grief behind her and make a long-cherished dream come true. She buys a weather-beaten house in the sleepy English coastal town of Hardborough and opens a bookshop inside it. But her project encounters both prejudice and resistance. The town’s provincial inhabitants, who haven’t really encountered any of the cultural upheavals that have swept through the country’s far-off urban centres, are catapulted out of their lethargy by cutting-edge controversial contemporary works such as Nabokov's "Lolita" and Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451". Florence finds a kindred spirit in the shape of the reclusive Mr Brundish, but she also finds a formidable opponent in Mrs. Gamart, a local figure and would-be patron of the arts who jealously guards her sphere of influence. This adaptation of Penelope Fitzgerald's 1978 novel is a celebration of bibliophilia. Director Isabel Coixet has succeeded in creating a distinctive, stylistically coherent drama about the struggle of a woman who courageously takes her life into her own hands and tries to introduce a breath of fresh air into a crusty community.
Source: 68. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (Catalogue)