This new polite and pat effort from Isabel Coixet (Learning To Drive, Elegy) is pretty uneventful perhaps until the end of the last act located in a tradition-minded low-key English fishing hamlet in 1959.
The pleasantly erudite Florence (Emily Mortimer) memorializes her late husband by opening the eponymous emporium in an uninhabited residence as voiceover background is provided by Julie Christie (Shampoo, Away From Her).
An aristocratic heiress, Violet (Patricia Clarkson, also in Elegy opposite Ben Kingsley), offers a form of resistance to this seemingly innocuous endeavor. Violent could choose other vacant waterfront locales as their encounters are handled in a murmuring, clandestine way. Florence’s predilection looks to be in-demand, though the suggestive Lolita nettles stiff upper-lipped folks setting the area’s social political agenda.
The able Spanish helmswoman nicely puts reading on a pedestal, as well as percipient resolve even if the approach doesn’t render much poignancy. Still, “The Bookshop” in its British demeanor isn’t all that mannered or enervating thanks to the finely calibrated work of Mortimer and Clarkson. Also, esteemed veteran Bill Nighy (Love Actually, About Time) is pretty swell as an earnest local who has an effect on the tyro entrepreneur.