The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a mouthful, but it’s such a pleasure to watch.
I was ready to cancel Netflix because they’ve had nothing but crap on lately. I happened to see this title, and looking like a period piece, decided to take a chance.
If you are a reader, a writer, a WWII buff, or an Anglophile, you’ll come away glad to have seen this. At first, I was afraid it was going to be one of those sappy Hallmark movies because frankly, the film synopsis is as dull as dust, but don’t let it fool you. This is a gem in hiding.
It’s about a young writer who receives a letter from a resident from the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. He tells her how his literary group discovered her personal copy of “Essays of Elia” while Guernsey was under Nazi occupation. His letter intrigues her and she goes off to meet their little literary society. In the back story, you discover the Society’s bizarre origins. It was created as a means to break curfew during the Nazi occupation.
It’s about war and hardships; about isolation and unbreakable friendships. You walk away knowing these characters and feeling for them right down to your bones.
Greg is the WWII buff, but I’m more interested in what makes people tick when privation is palpable and dire. This movie delivers on both counts.
The beginning is slightly uneven as it weaves its story between 1946 England and Guernsey during Nazi occupation but eventually it falls into step so it’s easy to know when they’re flashing back.
The settings and costumes are detailed and correct–except for the plane, but only vintage plane buffs will catch it. You are transported to 1940s England during and after WWII. The characters are so real you hurt and cheer for them as their lives and stories unfold. The story is told in layers and each layer locks into the story line of another character.
I honestly did not know that any part of England had been under occupation so I was held in rapt awe as I watched how they managed in complete isolation. The island is beautiful and rugged and gently surreal.
I wish I could tell you more but I don’t want to ruin the sheer delight of revealing each of the characters. Go see it. That’s all I can tell you. Go and fall in love with Guernsey and her inhabitants.
I might still cancel Netflix but at least I got to see this movie. Recommended.