I am so glad you chose this film for us to review, my only wish being that I wish I knew about it a couple of weeks ago while I was in London so I could go looking for the iconic address.
Well, if nothing else, this is a film about relationships. And books. You know, there are so many similarities between the friendship that is struck between Anne Bancroft's character Helene and Anthony Hopkin's FDP and ours! The friendships were both created through correspondence stemming from a mutual love of the written word. We've sent packages (you more than me!) and supported each other through life and although we have never met face-to-face, the friendship is real and enduring.
In the film, Helene forms deep friendships with all of the staff at the book shop and they with her. She sends them lifelines of food at times of hardship and they send her a lifeline through the English classics she is unable to source in New York.
She spends her life longing to see her England - the England of English Literature - and although her friends are able to travel and visit the shop, she does not until it is too late.
Judi Dench, whose blue eyes are not shining in this film, calls her Helen. Why is that? I was curious about how she saw this friendship between the American and her husband, but just like everyone else, they formed a connection that saw Nora (Dench) comfort Helene when Frank died - through written words.
My favourite scene was of Helene dusting her book shelf, surrounded by the numerous books the shop had sent her over the decades and her voiceover, describing their importance.
Not sad, the ending had Helene walking through the abandoned book store and instead of us regretting the timing, she showed us her connection to the place was as real as ever - letting Frank know, she made it.
To tell a story through the two sided correspondence is one of my favourite ways of watching a film. This movie is gorgeous. It made me miss London. And New York. More importantly, it reminded me to write.
I give this movie 8/10. Can't wait to hear your thoughts and your stories about this film.
Read Rocky's Review here.
|84 Charing Cross Road|
|A scene from the film when the staff at 84 receive a care package from Helene.|