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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  7 March 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20,993 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 96 user | 129 critic | 27 from

Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle-aged London governess, finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Alexander ...
Clare Clifford ...
Charlotte Warren
Sarah Kants ...
Sally Leonard ...
Woman at Train Station
Katy Murphy ...
Miss Holt's Assistant
Nightclub Patron


War threatens London as Miss Pettigrew, a destitute governess, filches a client's card from her agency and presents herself at the door. A singer named Delysia Lafosse wants a social secretary as she seeks a West End role by sleeping with a feckless producer in the bed of Nick, a smarmy nightclub owner with whom she also dallies. She ignores Michael, her piano player, who loves her and has tickets for New York on the Queen Mary. Miss Pettigrew's job is to make sure Delysia gets the part. Over 24 hours, Miss Pettigrew is also called upon to help an ambitious and unfaithful fashion editor patch things up with her older fiancé, a lingerie designer. Has Miss Pettigrew found her calling? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every Woman Will Have Her Day


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some partial nudity and innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

7 March 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida num Só Dia  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,490,942 (USA) (7 March 2008)


£90,878 (UK) (15 August 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Frances McDormand's character Guinevere Pettigrew claims to be raised by a clergyman, when in real life, McDormand's adoptive father is Canadian minister Vernan McDormand. See more »


Edythe's cigarette changes length between alternating close and full person shots, in the scene on the balcony at Delysia's party. See more »


Delysia: Do you know what my name is, Guinevere?
Guinevere Pettigrew: I was under the impression it was Delysia Lafosse.
Delysia: Sarah Grubb. One of the Pittsburg Grubbs. My father is a steelworker. No one else in the world knows that apart from Michael. And he doesn't judge me.
Guinevere Pettigrew: No, he wouldn't.
Delysia: But you do.
Guinevere Pettigrew: Me? I certainly do not.
Delysia: Oh, you think you don't, but you do. For all the fancy apartments and fashion shows, do you know how close I am to having nothing? Every day I wake up and I think, if I make the wrong move, I could be out...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The letters of the opening credits are blown into place, like the wind, swirling into their correct position. See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 8 March 2008 (2008) See more »


Brother Can You Spare a Dime
Written by E.Y. Harburg (as Y.E. "Yip" Harburg) and Jay Gorney
Arranged and Conducted by Paul Englishby
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This Miss is bliss! McDormand is enchanting in the title role and Adams is charming, too
8 March 2008 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Miss Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a penniless nanny, currently out of a job. Although she has worked for a placement agency in the past, they give her the cold shoulder this time, mostly because her last three stints as a nanny, with impossible children, fared badly. Absolutely desperate for work, Miss Pettigrew hears of a position as a social secretary as she is walking out the agency's door. Making a beeline to the appropriate home, she encounters the young starlet, Delysia La Fosse (Amy Adams) who asked for her services. But, what doings! Delysia has had a male guest, overnight, who is not the man who owns the flat where she is currently bunking! The interloper must be ushered out before Mr. Moneybags returns or Delysia will be in a heap of trouble. Not missing a beat, Miss Pettigrew gets the situation under control with her innate wisdom. Delysia is grateful. But, the day is only getting started. There is a third man in Delysia's life and the young beauty is juggling suitors in a quest to become a bonafide star of the screen. Not only that, Delysia whisks Miss Pettigrew off to a fashion show and salon, where the new social secretary gets a makeover and meets a rich, handsome man (Ciaran Hinds) with eyes for HER. Is it possible to go from rags to riches in twenty four hours? Definitely, maybe! This is a lovely film with a great plot and a terrific cast. Adams is engaging as the beautiful but mixed-up starlet while Hinds is marvelous as the man who rediscovers what is important in life. The rest of the players are also wonderful, with a word of mention extended to Shirley Henderson for her nice turn as a conniving, inconvenient woman. But, really, this is McDormand's film, as she is the heart and soul of the picture and deservedly so, for her performance is absolutely enchanting and touching. Needless to say, the sets and costumes from the late 1930's are grand and so are the film's art direction and photography. Congratulations are hereby given to the fine, fine script and story, as well. Do you want to experience movie bliss? Then, don't miss Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, as your day will be as bright as newly minted penny, after a viewing.

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