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Trans-Atlantic Epistolary Cinema

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 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.


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