Who knew a film about books, letters, and friendships could be so charming? 1987's 84 Charing Cross Rd. is a gem I have ignored for about a year. I watched it this evening and found it time well spent. Yes, it is based on a play, but it doesn't feel wooden or claustrophobic as many stage to screen translations often do. Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft portray the main characters who live an ocean away from each other yet strike up a friendship through the ordering of books. The story takes place in the paleo days of 1949-1970something--that's pre-bubble wrap and pre-Amazon.com. Ahh, a movie for bibliophiles (and maniacs as Bancroft builds up an impressive library of hard-to-find titles). Put the kiddies to bed, parents; this one's for grown-ups. That means no explosions, car chases, nor jiggling breasts. Unless you count the scene where Bancroft's character is arrested.
"Therefore whoever is not illuminated by such great splendors in created things is blind. Anyone who is not awakened by such great outcries is deaf. Anyone who is not led from such great effects to give praise to God is mute. Anyone who does not turn to the First Principle as a result of such signs is a fool.Therefore open your eyes, alert your spiritual ears, unlock your lips and apply your heart, so that in all the creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and adore, magnify and honor God, lest the entire world rise up against you." -- St. Bonaventure, Itinerarium mentis in Deum