The Bookshop

Der Buchladen der Florence Green
At the end of the 1950s, a young widow named Florence Green decides to put her grief behind her and make a long-cherished dream come true. She buys a weather-beaten house in the sleepy English coastal town of Hardborough and opens a bookshop inside it. But her project encounters both prejudice and resistance. The town’s provincial inhabitants, who haven’t really encountered any of the cultural upheavals that have swept through the country’s far-off urban centres, are catapulted out of their lethargy by cutting-edge controversial contemporary works such as Nabokov's ‘Lolita’ and Ray Bradbury's ‘Fahrenheit 451’. Florence finds a kindred spirit in the shape of the reclusive Mr Brundish, but she also finds a formidable opponent in Mrs Gamart, a local figure and would-be patron of the arts who jealously guards her sphere of influence. This adaptation of Penelope Fitzgerald’s 1978 novel is a celebration of bibliophilia. Director Isabel Coixet has succeeded in creating a distinctive, stylistically coherent drama about the struggle of a woman who courageously takes her life into her own hands and tries to introduce a breath of fresh air into a crusty community.
by Isabel Coixet
with Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson, James Lance, Honor Kneafsey, Frances Barber, Jorge Suquet, Charlotte Vega, Hunter Tremayne, Reg Wilson
Spain / United Kingdom / Germany 2017 English 113’ Colour


  • Emily Mortimer (Florence Green)
  • Bill Nighy (Edmund Brundish)
  • Patricia Clarkson (Violet Gamart)
  • James Lance (Milo North)
  • Honor Kneafsey (Christine Gipping)
  • Frances Barber (Jessie Welford)
  • Jorge Suquet (Mr. Thornton)
  • Charlotte Vega (Kattie)
  • Hunter Tremayne (Mr. Keble)
  • Reg Wilson (General Gamart)


Written and Directed by Isabel Coixet based upon the novel by Penelope Fitzgerald
Cinematography Jean Claude Larrieu
Editing Bernat Aragonés
Music Alfonso de Vilallonga
Sound Design Enrique G. Bermejo
Sound Albert Gay
Production Design Llorenç Miquel
Costumes Mercè Paloma
Make-Up Montse Sanfeliu
Assistant Director Luca Vacchi
Casting Jeremy Zimmermann
Production Managers Jordi Berenguer, Alex Boyd
Producers Joan Bas, Jaume Banacolocha, Adolfo Blanco, Chris Curling
Executive Producers Albert Sagalés, Manuel Monzón, Paz Recolons, Fernando Riera
Co-Producers Jamila Wenske, Sol Bondy
Co-Production One Two Films Berlin

World sales

Celsius Entertainment

Produced by

A Contracorriente Films

Green Films

Zephyr Films

Isabel Coixet

The director was born in Barcelona, Spain and studied history before initially working in advertising and communications, winning numerous awards for her commercials. In 2000, she founded her own production company, Miss Wasabi. She has a long-standing connection to the Berlinale: her first international success, Things I Never Told You, screened in the 1996 Panorama; My Life Without Me took part in the Competition in 2003; and six more of her films have featured in the programme over the years. She was also a member of the International Jury in 2009.

Filmography (selection)

1989 Demasiado viejo para morir joven (Too Old to Die Young) 1996 Cosas que nunca te dije (Things I Never Told You) 1998 A los que aman (To Those Who Love) 2003 Mi vida sin mi (My Life Without Me) 2005 La vida secreta de les paraules (The Secret Life of Words) 2008 Elegy 2009 Map of the Sounds of Tokio 2012 Marea Blanca; short film 2013 Ayer no termina nunca (Yesterday Never Ends) 2014 Mi otro yo (Another Me) · Aprendiendo a conducir (Learning to Drive) 2015 Nadie quiere la noche (Nobody Wants the Night) · Talking about Rose. Prisoner of Hissène Habré 2016 Spain in a Day; documentary 2017 The Bookshop 2018 Elisa y Marcela (Elisa und Marcela)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019