Enjoyable from start to finish. Watching this was like sipping a hot cup of honeyed tea on a rainy day. Sad, sweet, and satisfying.
In 1946 a London-based writer begins exchanging letters with residents on the island of Guernsey, which was German-occupied during WWII. Feeling compelled to visit the island, she starts to get a picture of what it was like during the occupation.
Rating: 4 and 1/2 avocados
I was skeptical at first since this is a Netflix Original, but recently they seem to be getting better on the quality of their shows they’re producing. You have multiple cast members from Downton Abbey (including Sybil!) – all led by Lily James (also from Downton Abbey and Cinderella).
There was something that just appealed to me from the start. I have always loved the idea of writing letters and that is how our two main character first meet. Through their correspondence Juliet Ashton, a writer from London, is intrigued by the unknown Dawsey’s descriptions of his local literary society. On a whim she decides to visit. Once there she’s met with a chilly reception by some of the literary members. As she seeks to understand why she finds herself pulling at a strand of story that won’t come loose. War has brought tragedy to Guernsey island, and some wounds have not yet healed.
This is a movie about writers and readers. As a writer and reader, therefore, I found it especially compelling and delightful to watch. Here was a story about people with the same passion for words. The characters were fun, quirky, and raw with their emotions.
- There is a healthy amount of tension. You see Juliet Ashton, living successfuly as a writer, but lonely in a way, and suffering from the loss of her parents. Beside that you see the citizens of Guernsey struggling to make ends meet, feeling the keen loss of family members and friends, but thriving in a tight-knit community. So there was plenty of contrast. I think the tension between the beauty and redemption contrasted to the sorrow was what makes this movie stand out in my mind.
- I felt everything right along with the characters. It felt familiar, even though I knew their lives were nothing like mine. Still a writer’s pursuit of a story, unearthing tragedy, and having the story of people you don’t fully know yet still change you… resonated somehow.
- It’s not very complex. The story is straightforward and simple. Yet that is not a con in my mind. Because sometimes you don’t want complexity, just sincerity. And that’s what this movie was- sincere.
- The love story was pretty simple but I didn’t mind that. It was still satisfying, and just uncertain enough to keep it from being completely cheesy.
I would watch this solely to see the beautiful island of Guernsey. The filming was gorgeous, and it made me want to visit.