Movie Maven: “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day”

Movie Maven: “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day”

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Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day
Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Mark Strong, Tom Payne, Lee Pace, Ciaran Hinds, Shirley Henderson

Do you ever want to see a good, old-fashioned movie whose only purpose is to entertain and make the audience feel good?

Well, “Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day” fits that bill. “Pettigrew” tips its hat to the film genre of the 1930s. It has a genuine throwback feel to the time of glamour, big shouldered men and ditzy leading women who know more than they’re willing to reveal. And it offers a taste of life in 1939 prior to the coming of war.

Perhaps what is so remarkable is that a film depicting life in the 1930s could actually interest and humor us today. Credit must be given to the two leads in this film for bringing this amatory tale of true love triumphing over poverty and finding one’s place to life.

Frances McDormand is a chameleon as she makes us believe she is a dowdy, homely, ugly duckling who never compromises her ideals yet allows herself to experience the amenities of high society — if only for a day. Her hair, clothes and even undergarments may be updated, yet she holds true to her levelheaded common sense and decency. Those attributes serve her well as she plays Guinevere Pettigrew.

Up-and-coming starlet Amy Adams carries her own with the frenetic comedy of errors scenario based upon a 1938 novel by Winifred Watson. The pacing of the story by director Bharat Nalluri allows Adams to shine as the young, fickle American in London who hopes to become an international movie star.

And kudos to actor Lee Pace. He plays a handsome, penniless English piano player who falls in love with Adams’s character. I didn’t recognize him as a British actor and was delighted to discover he was born an American and graduated from a Texan high school!

That is only one of many small delights you may discover while seeing “Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.” No vile language, no underlying misogynous themes. Just a sweet love story.

Imagine that!

Chic Stars: Four Chic Stars

Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.