The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a 2018 historical romantic-drama film written by Don Roos and Tom Bezucha and directed by Mike Newell. The screenplay is based on the 2008 novel of the same name, written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. The film stars Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Glen Powell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Katherine Parkinson, Matthew Goode, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton. Set in 1946, the plot follows a London-based writer who exchanges letters with a resident on the island of Guernsey, which had been under German occupation during World War II.
A coproduction between the United Kingdom, United States, and France, the film was distributed and financed by StudioCanal and produced by Blueprint Pictures and the Mazur/Kaplan Company. In 2010, development began on a film adaptation based on Shaffer's novel. Initially, Kate Winslet was announced as the lead, with Kenneth Branagh attached to direct. However, both dropped out in February 2013. In October 2016, James signed on for the lead role, with Newell set to direct. The film entered pre-production in January 2017, with principal photography taking place across England from 23 March to 15 May 2017: London, Cornwall, and Devon, and in the Channel Islands at St. Peter Port Harbour, Guernsey.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society premiered and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom in April 2018 and in France in June 2018. The film grossed $15.7 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics. It was distributed in other international areas by Netflix on 10 August 2018 as an original film.
In 1941. Two years into the Second World War, on the island of Guernsey, four friends are stopped by German soldiers for breaching curfew during German occupation. To avoid arrest, one of them, Elizabeth smartly invented an unexpected excuse: they were returning from a meeting of their book club, hastily named "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society".
Five years later, in January 1946, the author Juliet Ashton is promoting her latest book, written under her pen name Izzy Bickerstaff. She has just been contracted through her publisher Sidney Stark to write stories for The Times Literary Supplement about the benefits of literature. Juliet receives a letter from Dawsey Adams, a Guernsey man who has come into possession of her copy of Charles Lamb's Essays of Elia and who wants to know where to find a bookshop in England to buy another book by the same author. He tells her that he is part of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", which meets every Friday night. Juliet sends another book by Lamb and his sister, Tales from Shakespeare, in exchange for more information about the society and how it came into being.
Juliet decides she would like to write about the society and arranges to travel to the island, despite Sidney's reservations. Her American boyfriend Mark proposes before Juliet embarks on the ferry, and she accepts. Upon arrival at Guernsey, Juliet attends a meeting of the society where she is treated as a celebrity by the members: Dawsey Adams, Amelia Maugery, Isola Pribbey, Eben Ramsey, and Eben's young grandson, Eli. Juliet is told that Elizabeth, the founding member, is overseas. Her daughter Kit is being looked after by Dawsey, and calls him "dad". Juliet asks permission to write an article about the Society, but Amelia reacts negatively to the idea.
Instead of returning home as planned, Juliet remains in Guernsey to conduct research, telling the group that she is writing about the German occupation. Over the following days, she learns that Elizabeth had been arrested during the occupation and sent to Germany, but that her friends are still hoping she will return. Juliet asks Mark, who is in the armed forces, to try to locate Elizabeth. Juliet's landlady tells her that Elizabeth was no saint, hinting that she had been having sex with the occupying German forces in exchange for luxuries. Juliet asks Dawsey about the story, and he tells her: Kit's real father was Christian Hellmann, a German doctor who had worked with Elizabeth at the local hospital. Hellmann had been sent back to Germany, and died when his ship was sunk.
Mark arrives in Guernsey bringing information about Elizabeth, and Juliet relays to the society the news that Elizabeth had been sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. There, she was shot and killed trying to protect a fellow prisoner. Juliet and Mark return to London but Juliet is unable to settle back into her previous life. She breaks up with Mark and starts to write about the society. When her manuscript is finished, she gives a copy to Sidney and posts another to the society. Dawsey reads her covering letter out loud to the group and decides to look for her, and departs for London. At the same time, Juliet arranges to return to Guernsey. She is just embarking on the ferry when she notices Dawsey on the wharf, and the two reunite.
Lily James as Juliet Ashton
Michiel Huisman as Dawsey Adams
Glen Powell as Mark Reynolds
Jessica Brown Findlay as Elizabeth McKenna
Matthew Goode as Sidney Stark
Penelope Wilton as Amelia Maugery
The main cast is like a mini reunion of Downton Abbey, reuniting some of the actors in the tv series Downton Abbey, including Lily James(as Lady Rose MacClare), Jessica Brown Findlay(Lady Sybil), Matthew Goode(Henry Talbot) and Penelpe Wilton(Isobel Crawley).