Smothering the screen with good intentions, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (adapted from Annie Barrow’s best-selling comfort novel of the same name) is British security-blanket film-making at its finest.
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Mr. Newell directs with sensitivity and the occasional invention; the movie has an almost tactile appreciation of period detail, as when Juliet sets to writing, the camera lingers on her onionskin typing paper. The cast is impeccable.
Undemanding yet never quite effortless, agreeable yet never quite engrossing, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has fewer stumbling points than its loopy title, but that title sticks for longer than the rest of it.
Buoyed by a reliably appealing star turn from James, this handsome tearjerker mostly sidesteps the tweeness of its title to become, somehow, both an old-fashioned romance and a detective story trumpeting gender equality.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an old-school, old-fashioned entertainment, a romantic drama bursting with scenic vistas and earnest charm that contains just enough mystery to keep us involved.
For all of its breezy charm, what makes “Guernsey” an often frustrating experience is the fact that the story uncovered by Juliet is exceedingly more interesting than the one she finds herself confined within.
A well told, beautifully acted drama that offers nothing new but a comforting level of familiarity and cosiness.
It is a confection in every sense, but plump with natural sweetness.
James is a winsome presence, with able support from Huisman, Powell, Goode, Courtenay, Parkinson and Wilton. But the story veers into pure melodrama.
It’s simply a movie that makes you feel welcome.