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.
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
Winifred Watson's book was published the fall of 1938 and it became a smash hit. Plans were in the works for a Hollywood film version starring Billie Burke as Miss Pettigrew, but the start of WWII brought those plans to a halt. The publisher re-released the book in 2000 which lead to it being "found" again by Hollywood after 60+ years. See more »
At Delysia's party, when Michael is playing the piano he leans into the higher notes toward screen right, from Michael's perspective, to the left. The higher keys on a piano are to the right, the lower to the left, so Michael's reaching to the left would result in lower notes. See more »
This Miss is bliss! McDormand is enchanting in the title role and Adams is charming, too
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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