English film director Mike Newell began working for Granada Television in the 1960s. He moved into making features with The Man in the Iron Mask (1979). This was followed by such films as Dance with a Stranger (1985), Enchanted April (1992), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Donnie Brasco (1997), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and Great Expectations (2012).
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the movie adaptation of a successful 2008 novel written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. The film has been in development for a decade and at one point, had Kenneth Branagh mooted as director and Kate Winslett for the lead role of author Juliet Ashton. Lily James was eventually cast as Juliet, along with a solid team of British thesps to play the eccentric and endearing supporting characters, including Matthew Goode, Pamela Wilton, Tom Courtenay and Katherine Parkinson. American Glen Powell and the Netherlands’ Michiel Huisman round out the main cast.
The official movie blurb is this:
London, 1946. Juliet, a charismatic and free-spirited writer receives a letter from a member of a mysterious literary club, started in Nazi-occupied Guernsey. Her curiosity piqued, Juliet decides to visit the island. There she meets the delightfully eccentric members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, including Dawsey, the rugged and intriguing farmer who wrote her the letter. As the secrets from their wartime past unfold, Juliet’s growing attachment to the island, the book club and her affections for Dawsey will change the course of her life forever.
We spoke with Mr Newell a few days ago about how he went about bringing this war time romantic-comedy-drama to life. (Full interview below/ review here)