Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day details
|Starring:||Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Ciarán Hinds, Shirley Henderson, Lee Pace|
|Collections:||100 Hot Hits|
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
|Run time:||1 hour 32 minutes|
|Rental release:||09 Mar 2009|
Most helpful review
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A DayBy SAI81 (360 reviews) from Tonbridge , 27 Aug 2008
[Highly rated reviewer]This movie may not be for me, I thought as I settled into my seat at the screening of Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, and watched the cinema fill up with an audience that was, aside from me, composed entirely of people who were over 60 or female (in many cases both). Its true that Miss Pettigrew is probably a movie more for my Mother than for me, but it isnt without its charms.
Chief among those charms, of course, is Amy Adams. Adams should have been around in the 30s and 30s for the heyday of both screwball comedy and the studio system; shed have been able to rival Carole Lombard and Jean Arthur. Adams is perfect as Delysia LaFosse, an American actress living in London, and juggling 3 boyfriends (Pace, Payne and Mark Strong) who each offer different advantages. Its not a very sympathetic character, but Adams has such inherent charm that she could do just about anything onscreen and it would still be impossible to dislike her.
Sadly what surrounds Adams in this film, while not exactly bad, is terminally lacking in inspiration. Frances McDormand is a very fine actress, who doesnt work as much as she should, and while shes good as Guinevere Pettigrew who, out of desperation, pretends to be Delysias new governess, only to find herself engaged to sort Delysias life out theres an awkwardness to her performance. The clipped British accent doesnt help, but it isnt just that. McDormand is never really convincing in the characters skin, and it just never stops feeling like a piece of acting.
The script, by David Magee and Simon Beaufoy, is very broad. Characters are painted in sweeping, single colour, brush strokes, and theres barely a scene that you wont know the end of as it begins. This is a particular problem for the romantic quadrangle, its always painfully obvious who Delysia is going to end up with and the film doesnt subvert your expectations for a second. This wouldnt be such a problem if the mechanism to get the characters to this point were funnier, but the jokes, while sometimes funny, are as telegraphed as the rest of the film.
The cast is filled out with British character actors, and their performances range from staggeringly poor (a rabbit in the headlights turn from Payne) to I could do this in my sleep (Shirley Henderson, wasted as ever) to possibly the best performance in the film (a warm Hinds, who plays beautifully off McDormand).
As a whole its amiable enough. It looks nice, its mildly funny, love conquers all, and Amy Adams nuclear powered smile could warm the coldest winter day. Take your Mum, shell like this.
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McDormand and Co make this a delightBy themacs (46 reviews) from Bridport , 13 Mar 2013Films do change books.... and I love the book. I often give it as a gift, but Frances McDormand? It's got to be good, right? Right! Some changes from the book, but don't compare, just enjoy. A fabulous scene invented for the film where the hungry McDormand spots a piece of toast and hides it in a drawer so that she can eat it was just superb! A lovely film all round. Just sit back and enjoy.
Quite lovely, but bits don't sit rightBy sulkyblue (21 reviews) from Ealing Common , 27 Feb 2013I'm a bit conflicted over this film. For the most part I thought it was really quite lovely. The characters are interesting and fresh and I really enjoyed following the ups and downs of their various relationships before they settled into their comfortably predictable places. The setting of the film is also beautifully done with costumes, sets and hairstyles all vividly creating 1930s London. But a few things just didn't quite sit right. Something about Frances McDormand in the eponymous role just didn't work for me, I was uncertain how old she was supposed to be and I kept thinking of Emma Thompson in the role instead. Similarly something just wasn't quite right about the introduction of the start of the war, the deeper comments about the young people 'not knowing what was coming' didn't seem to fit with the rest of the film. On the other hand though, I'll watch Amy Adams in just about anything and she is in fine form here, being one of few actresses who could make the flaky and irritating Delycia somehow charming and lovely and worth the price of admission alone.
Step back in time and enjoyBy a customer , 09 Jan 2013Having read some of the reviews I wasn't sure that I would enjoy this film, but I did. The story ending is not predicable, the characters uncover many truisms to life at the time and therefore it is not shallow in any way. There was not anything in it that I disliked. It was entertaining from begining to end.
Not a patch on the bookBy a customer , 05 Jan 2013Having just read the book and loved it, I was a little disappointed that the film changed so many things. However, the film was enjoyable in a lightweight way.
Popcorn, Chocolate, and a Great Big SmileBy AuntySocialite (64 reviews) from Llareggub, Cymru , 11 Sep 2012I wasn't so sure about this film at first but I think it's one of those movies you have to give a bit of time to, to let it unfold. Really glad I rented it as I felt wonderful after watching it, something that doesn't happen often in these terror-happy days. McDormand's English accent is spot-on, Adams's Marilynesque turn charming, Henderson's steely fashionista gives sour to leaven the sweetness; and I have discovered the ***gorgeous*** Lee Pace: imagine Gavin Henson but with a personality transplant.
If you like feel-good romantic comedies that look sumptuous and aren't (too) sentimental, that have something for the middle-aged as well as the youngsters, you'll thoroughly enjoy your time with Miss Pettigrew. A lovely Sunday-afternoon film: all you need is popcorn and some Terry's chocolate orange.