Tuesday, April 20, 2010

84 Charing Cross Road (1987)

84 Charing Cross Road is based on a play/book written by Helen Hanff about her correspondence with Frank Doel, chief buyer of Marks & Co, antiquarian booksellers which was located at 84 Charing Cross Road.  Helen write to Marks & co. to purchase old, classical books that she was unable to purchase in New York and maintained this contact with Frank and other members of the book selling staff.  This correspondence evolved into friendship as she exchanged gifts and real discussions about a variety of topics.

I enjoyed this quiet and unassuming movie.  However, it was hard for me to stop comparing it to The Shadowlands as both star Anthony Hopkins as a quiet English man who enjoys literature.  This comparison did tinge my views of the film.

Anne Bancroft stars as Helen and Hopkins stars as Frank.  The movie plays with perceptions of American versus English interactions and stereotypes.  Frank is a reserved man to Helen's very vocal woman, but the viewer sees a real connection made.  Hopkins excels at subtle acting and it's amazing to see how he can make such a quiet character so empathetic to the viewer.

This film is not groundbreaking, but enjoyable in a subdued and thoughtful manner.

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