Release Date: July 31, 2020
Director: Jessica Swale
Production Company: Shoebox Films | Iota Films
Alice Lamb (Gemma Arterton) is a writer who researches and publishes studies on folklore and mythology. She is also the village curmudgeon living alone in a seaside town in Kent during World War II where the local children call her witch. To her surprise, she is assigned a child evacuee from London, Frank (Lucas Bond), to live with her. Hijinks ensue.
This movie has indication of trotting out the tired trope of Independent Women Must Learn To Embrace Her Maternal Side (As Fits Her Womanly Duty). But this movie has a few twists. Throughout the movie Alice remembers her younger days when she had a romantic relationship with a woman named Vera (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). Past and present intersect and both Alice and Frank have to deal with their personal traumas as they bond. Frank also befriends a mischiveous girl named Edie (Dixie Egerickx) who is my favorite character in the movie.
There are some historically-questionable oddities about this movie. Like, weren’t children evacuated inland rather than to a village just across the Channel from Nazi-occupied France? But if you can avoid letting little things like that from bothering you, this is a perfectly fine drama and romance film that is sweet as much as it is predictable.