Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 124 mins

Star Rating: 4/5

IN 1994, love was all around director Mike Newell as he shepherded potty-mouthed romantic comedy Four Weddings And A Funeral to a trio of coveted Baftas - including Best Film - and two Oscar nominations. That loving feeling persists in The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, a cumbersome title for a sweeping tale of self-sacrifice, based on the posthumously published novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Set predominantly on the island during and after the Second World War when Germans invaded and heavily fortified the coast, Newell's chocolate box romance was filmed in picturesque Devon. The luminous Lily James casts a warm glow as one point of a tantalising love triangle that provides the framework for a grim history lesson peppered with heartache. The script cuts back and forth between 1941 and 1946, evoking the era with impeccable period design that contrasts simple, earthy tones of life off the British mainland with the exuberance and impeccable style of high society London. Author Juliet Ashton (James) and publisher Sidney Stark (Matthew Goode) embark on a book tour amid the rubble of a capital decimated by enemy bombs.

Juliet, out of the blue, receives a letter from a Guernsey farmer called Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman), who shares fascinating details about a literary society established under German occupation. She travels to the island and begins to discover dark secrets.