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Welcome to a world of lavish delights. A world filled with fashion
shows, cocktail parties, and the latest gossip. This is the world Miss
Pettigrew finds her self swept up into, and where she lives her day
Miss Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a nanny that has just been dropped by her placement agency after being fired for the third time from another displeased client. In her desperation for employment she steals an address card to a new client, and is soon on their doorstep, posing as the new nanny from the agency. This new client turns out to be, Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams), a young singer/actress wannabe who is competing for the lead in a big production play. She has no children and wants a nanny more as a secretary or "social secretary" as she later calls Miss Pettigrew. Within a matter of minutes of her arrival Miss Pettigrew helps Delysia outwit two of the three men she is seeing, avoiding a possible catastrophe. This makes Delysia worship Miss Pettigrew and before long she is whisking her away to a fashion show and salon before a cocktail party in the evening.
As the characters play with love like a fine chess game, Miss Pettigrew helps Delysia maneuver through this dazzling champagne 'n' strawberry-drenched world of revelries that the rich use in a desperate attempt to conceal the looming dread of WWII, meanwhile enjoying tidbits of luxuries she would never have dreamed of.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is an absolute delight to watch from the very beginning up until the final end. The production, directing, writing, and acting are all superb as they recreate the WWII era in England.
The acting, well Frances McDormand and Amy Adams as the two leads, need I say more. These two actresses work together so flawlessly. Frances McDormand masters a British accent and gives a performance of layers. Few actresses can play a character that "acts" fakily-sweet and still give such a realistic performance as Amy Adams. Her performance reminded me of her recent golden-globe nominated performance in Enchanted.
Overall this is a charming, delightfully entertaining film with wonderful performances and a sharp script.
This type of movie has simply not been done for 40 or 50 years. Comedy
based upon timing, script, and coincidence (the "screwball" part) is
Unlike today's comedy, based on the outrageous, the actors in this genre have to know how to deliver the lines, keep the pace. The resurrection of a genre.
One of the unusual parts of this film worth noting is the score. The music moves the action a great deal of the time. And the composer kept the sound from the era almost flawlessly: big band jazz of the late 1930's. (there are a couple of slips into later jazz styles, very minor - musicologists may be annoyed - but no one else will notice) The music becomes one of the characters of the plot, interacting almost as much as the actors do. That alone is a brilliant device, tried by many, mastered rarely, especially in period.
Amy Adams and Frances McDormand have a wonderful interplay, both sides of the romantic slide: young, desired, older, having past love by.
great movie if you like your comedy a little faster, but with no one who's eating anything disgusting for a laugh.
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.
This reminded me of something that Irene Dunne or Norma Shearer would
have starred in as Delysia, with Cary Grant playing the love interest,
Michael. The cast was excellent. Frances McDormand in the title role
was outstanding. Ciaran Hinds (Julius Ceaser from HBO's "Rome") was
great. The screenplay was first-rate. The cinematography was perfect,
capturing pre-WWII London flawlessly.
What really made the movie standout was Amy Adams as Delysia. She truly shined in her role. She has quickly become among the top tier female actors in Hollywood. She has great acting range in both comic and dramatic roles, and she can sing. She's got it all. Her love interest in the film, Lee Pace, was also very good. They had the type of chemistry that worked so well in the best 1930's screwball comedies with Cary Grant & Irene Dunne, among others.
This is a very good movie, well directed, written, & acted. I would recommend this movie to anyone in the mood for a good romantic comedy.
Old fashioned style comedy ridden- this film is a family must.
Mcdormand and Adams deliver sterling displays in a wonderfully costumed
period romantic comedy. Just like a classic film you'd sit down and
watch with the family at Christmas. Perhaps for this reason it may not
be to some people's liking
Director Nalluri harnesses some delicate character interactions that grow between McDormand's and Adam's character.
The question that remains is when will a British release date be confirmed? I believe momentum pictures have purchased the film for UK distribution. I sincerely hope it comes out sooner rather than later.
The movie itself definitely leaves a warm feeling inside by the end!
When I first saw the trailer for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, I was
a little off put, it looked like a movie that I was either going like a
lot or really dislike and feel like it was a waste of time. So I saw
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day this morning and I really liked it a
lot. Miss Pettigrew is a feel good light hearted romantic comedy, one
that we need more of these days. It had bright colors, a fun story, and
enchanting actors. Frances McDormand was so brilliant and a lot of fun
to watch, she's got such a presence on the silver screen and has still
got that magical touch. Amy Adams was just adorable, I really am
starting to love her more and more in each movie I see her in, she's
just so cute in her role as Delysia. The weird thing is, is that her
character could have been such a tramp, but she made it into someone so
cute and likable that her and Miss Pettigrew into a great on screen
Miss Pettigrew is a woman in the 1930's who has gone through so much, she's getting fired from one job to the next. But when she sneaks into being a "social secretary" for Delysia Lafosse, a sexy young vixen who is dating three guys at the same time. But she just wants to have the lead role in the local play and become a huge actress, but it's hard balancing these boys, but with Miss Pettigrew, she realizes that she might just be in love with a great man. Miss Pettigrew in the mean time catches the eye of a handsome rich man, Joe, who may just change her life.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a charming film and is one of the better films of 2008. I know that it's a bit predictable and it's a chick flick, but it's just a fun movie that I'm sure you'll like. It doesn't try too hard and the actors looked like they had such a great time making this movie. I would recommend Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, it's worth the watch. It's a nice romantic comedy that's original, clean, and fun. It brought me back to the classic movies of the 1950's where they were just fun entertainment, the colors and the feel of movie was just enchanting.
Cute 30's-style story, but the best thing about this film was the art
deco sets, the best art deco work I have seen since the real deco films
of of the 30's. I almost forgot the story at times while looking at the
gorgeous deco details in almost every scene. What a knockout apartment
Amy Adam's character had, and the Savoy Hotel, wow again! Stunning,
As the story has been detailed many times here, I won't, except for this.....it was a combination of Cinderella, My Fair Lady, and many others showing rags to riches development of the star, along with a prince-in-hand, happy ending. The story was madcap, with Amy Adams' flashing star power and smile moving it along at the same breakneck speed she went through the men in her life. Frances McDormand played an unemployed, dowdy nanny turned Adams' "social secretary" by hook and by crook deception, and underplayed her part with great reserve and dignity even in the face of possibly having to live on the street again. Wonderful parts for both talents and both ran with them. Very entertaining film and a real treat for the senses as it also had beautiful camera-work to show off those fantastic deco sets.
If you miss the style, fashion and flair of those '30's nightclub films with big stars like Carole Lombard and Clark Gable, see this one and feel like you went back 70 years to the grand old age of "style" film-making.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day indeed. And quite the day it was. Here
is the "governess of last resort," a daughter of a vicar, raised in a
sheltered world of modesty. After butting heads with her previous
employers due to their lack of courtesy, manners, and morals, Miss
Pettigrew finds herself hungry, penniless, and very desperate. In a
moment of need, she steals the address of a prospective client and pops
over to pose as the woman sent for the job. Expecting a young boy to
have to look after for his rich and busy mother, she finds herself in a
world like she has never seen. Caught in an aristocratic puzzle of
greed, lust, power, and ego, she tries her hardest to remember that
love is not a game. In order to keep the lid on her lies, though, she
finds herself unwittingly becoming a key pawn on the board, moving
pieces around to where they say they want to go, but where she knows
they truly don't. She must not falter on her morals, however, despite
the detours along the way, as she is the last stop for her new boss to
finally discover the joy and life of love that has been sitting right
in front of her.
The first thing one will notice with this film is the very careful attention to detail in the scenery and apparel. We are transported into the late-30s/early-40s, right on the cusp of World War II, a time of social upheaval wherein the youth sees the prospect of an adventure and the aged see only disaster as they recall the losses they suffered during the first war. This threat overshadows the proceedings, but in a very subtle way, never making itself known until serving the plot. Instead we are given a screwball comedy of errors, a cornucopia of deceit and subversion as everyone has a hidden agenda, building relationships to get ahead in the world. Our subject is an American actress who has been transplanted to Britain in order to find fame. Miss Delysia Lafosse finds herself embroiled in a domineering coupling with a nightclub owner who she sings for, a tryst with a young West End producer in attempts to secure a coveted role, and a friendship of pure love with her pianist companion. Career and wealth overpower her sense of reason and the intrusion of Miss Pettigrew could not have occurred at a more opportune time. It is quite refreshing to see a period piece without all the stuffiness one normally associates with them. It is also funny to say something feels so unique when it so blatantly steals the style of films that were made in the very era this takes place. Thankfully that aesthetic still brings the laughter and intrigue even today.
Based on a novel from 1938, the story doesn't try to be more than it is. This is a tale of diverting entertainment with plot threads that are obvious from the first frame. There is something pleasant about that, though, because one can check their skepticism at the door and just sit down to relax and watch the show. The acting is broad and over-the-top, yet finds itself reined in at the right moments to truly let the actors emote that which their roles express. Anytime you have a story with a love-triangle as complex and comical as it is here, you know the tale will end happily ever after. That does not mean the hijinks leading up to that moment won't be a joyous ride.
What can you say about Frances McDormand and Amy Adams? These are two fantastic actresses who bring their best and play off each other splendidly. While Junebug is still the role I think of when I see Adams, her overly expressive gestures and facial contortions can't help but bring a smile to your face. Reminiscent of her turn in Enchanted, Adams, as Lafosse, has a lot of fun here while still being able to tone it down for the serious moments, allowing us to care for her despite the horribly stupid decisions she makes over and over again. As for McDormand as the titular character, it is good to see her back in a leading role. Not since Fargo can I remember her take front billing and appear in almost every frame of a movie. She fully encompasses the role and creates a transformation so realistic that you never question her motives. The entire film takes place in a day, so her attitude of unworthiness is believable as it is all happening so fast. Being the exact opposite to every other role in the film allows her to make a difference to all the naïve people around her. She is the little bird whispering in their ears, knowing through the rough life she has led what is truly important. And maybe, in helping those she meets, a little well deserved happiness awaits her too.
Every part of Miss Pettigrew drives on to its inevitable conclusion, but I can't say one moment was done wrong. In fact, we are treated to some stunning sequences, from the full waltz between McDormand and Ciarán Hinds (in a large role for once after the bits parts recently in Margot at the Wedding, There Will Be Blood, etc.) circling the dance floor to the climactic song between Adams and her pianist friend played wonderfully by Lee Pace. After enjoying his work in Pushing Daisies, I hope Pace will begin to find more and more work because he plays the likable, love-struck soul to perfection. You won't be seeing any Oscars come from this film, but as a date movie, you can do a lot worse. Take your loved ones to see this and have a nice, good-natured time at the movies. If nothing else it will put a smile on your face.
If you're looking for a compelling, daring, high brow documentary then this is not the one for you. However, if you're interested in seeing good acting, excellent art direction, and fun, whimsical characters then you won't be disappointed. Francis McDormand gives an excellent performance as the lead character. This role plays to her strengths - her presence, facial expressions and perfect timing. Amy Adams stretches a bit to deliver a good performance. She still managed to make her portrayal of the character believable despite her acting limitations. By far the best performance was that of Shirley Henderson as Edythe. Henderson takes the character and fully embraces it, exploiting the opportunity without going over the top. The story line while familiar, is adapted well enough to be make it a refreshing and witty period film without being cliché or taking itself too seriously. Overall the movie was very well done and one of the best refreshingly familiar feel-good films in recent memory.
A lot of movie going these days, at least for me, is having seen the best a film has to offer in the television clips/ads. Compare the feeling to being a fish who gets caught on the hook, is reeled in,and quickly finds out the worm wasn't worth the misery of being captured. In a refreshing turn of fate, this was an exception. I took the bait and was glad I did. It offered up a plush background that quickly brought this viewer in to share the experience with the actors. Amy Adams and Frances McDormand created a complex relationship and I quickly felt empathy with their characters. I want to give special notice to Ciaran HInds as Joe Blumfield. He was magnetically appealing. His quiet reserve as Joe, ruggedly handsome,worldly wise, and debonair, is rarely seen in male roles. Let's have more of this! (Oops, I guess you might have figured me for a guy by my review name, papacorn, but I'm solidly female.) I was truly entertained and even enjoyed the music which is of a type I never particularly liked before. I don't think it's meant for children and I'd definitely recommend parental discretion as suggested by the rating.
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