Thursday, November 12, 2009

84 Charing Cross Road

Movie: 84 Charing Cross Road
Like/Don't Like: Netflix was right. I loved it.

I think from the moment I first signed up for Netflix years ago this has been on my recommended list. I eventually put it on my queue but even then it barely cracked the top 5 because I kept putting other movies ahead of it. No one but Netflix has recommended it to me and I'm not much for trusting the opinions of a computer. But now I owe Netflix an apology, and possibly some brownies, because it was right. I liked it a lot.

Anne Bancroft is a writer who loves old, obscure, British non-fiction and she can't find cheap copies in New York so she gets the address of a used book store in London (at 84 Charing Cross Road) and asks them to send her specific titles. Anthony Hopkins is the clerk who answers her first request and they start up a correspondence that lasts for a few decades. Most of the movie is told through their letters and it is a very genuine and sweet friendship.

I was kind of destined to like this movie though. It contains all sorts of things I love: books, used book stores, letter writing, Anthony Hopkins, Judy Dench. At one point Anne Bancroft describes the smell as she opened up the first shipment of books and I knew exactly the smell she was talking about. That dust and old glue smell that almost makes me weep.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS. I have this book in an envelope to mail to you (on loan, don't get any ideas).

I just knew you'd like it. Helene reminds me of you. She's a little too dour to be exactly like you, but close. The charming part.