I'm not going to pretend - and why should I? I just could not relate to this film. Going further, I found stretches of it even tiresome.
It's set in 1940s Guernsey (the second-largest of the British Channel Islands just off the coast of northern France - present pop. around 60,000). The Channel Islands were the only part of Great Britain to come under Nazi occupation for a briefish period - and this is shown in several flashbacks to that time, complete with hostile reactions of the islands' inhabitants.
The society of the film's title is a subterfuge for a handful of literary enthusiasts (including Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton) to meet up for readings and discussion - the 'pie' part reflecting the fact that the occupying Germans removed all farm animals for their own use, leaving the natives to subsist practically solely on potatoes - though a single errant pig which survived the stealing provides a rare treat for the group. (I'll quickly gloss over that episode!)
The film's main character is played by Lily James as a writer who visits the island after just after the war, having got intrigued by this society and she decides to write a book on their war experiences, coming up against obstacles - most unpleasantly from the woman owning the room where she's staying - as well as reservations from members of the group who feel that she's opening whole cans of worms when she discovers an affair between one of the islanders and a German officer, and their resulting child. Simultaneously she herself is being caught up in a romantic entanglement with an American (Glen Powell) which is, one might say, not going ideally. And - but of course! - there's another young man (the Dutch Michiel Huisman), a pig (mainly) farmer who fancies her - and he's not alone (pace Matthew Goode).
It's all very 'bitty' with many flashes back and forwards which was getting me lost and exhausted. But despite all these strands going here and there I found the whole thing verging on plain dull!
Director is the well-established Mike Newell, still probably best known (and rightfully so) for 'Four Weddings....etc' (1994) though I found little of that film's magic here.
Incidentally the scenery shots in this film are utterly marvellous. Pity, then, that filming was not done on the titular island itself but on the mainland - Cornwall and Devon!
I've seen and heard some good reviews of this film, though vastly enthusiastic ones I've yet to see. I think for me it might have gone down better with a glass or two of wine. However, since I'm now and have been teetotal for over a year that wasn't poss. Still, I'll be generous and won't score it below average. Do take a..........5.
4 hours ago