1903 London. Renowned playwright J.M. Barrie (James)'s latest effort has garnered less than positive reviews, something he knew would be the case even before the play's mounting. This failure places pressure on James to write another play quickly as impresario Charles Frohman needs another to replace the failure to keep his theater viable. Out for a walk with his dog in part to let his creative juices flow, James stumbles upon the Llewelyn Davies family: recently widowed Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (the daughter of now deceased author George L. Du Maurier) and her four adolescent sons. James and the family members become friends, largely based on he and the boys being able to foster in each other the imagination of children, James just being the biggest among them in this regard. Sylvia also welcomes James into their lives, he who becomes an important and integral part of it. Among the six of them, the only one who does not want to partake is Sylvia's third, Peter Llewelyn Davies, who is ... Written by
I always tell my students that they can't claim a movie they just saw as their favorite movie ever because it has yet to stand the test of time. Every now and then a movie comes along that defies that rule for me -- a movie that as soon as I finish seeing it I know that it is an instant classic, if not "my favorite movie ever." American Beauty was such a movie.
Finding Neverland is such a movie. Every minute of this movie was simply incredible -- I felt like the kids in the theater on the opening night of Peter Pan. Johnny Depp is absolutely astounding, as he usually is, as JM Barrie. The rest of the adult cast doesn't quite come up to his level, but are uniformly strong. The kids, especially Peter and Michael, are wonderful. Maybe I just love the British accent, but one of my favorite scenes comes very early when Barrie meets Michael in the park -- Michael's accent reminded me so much of the kid in The Little Prince!
What raises this movie above standard fare, though, are the clever entries into Barrie's imagination. The magical moments in this movie seem to literally jump off the screen. Without a doubt, a film worthy of Oscar nominations for Depp, screenplay adaptation, cinematography (the pirate ship scene is gorgeous), and best movie of the year. Treat yourself - despite the PG rating, this is NOT a movie just for kids -- believe... 10/10
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