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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A drama about the awakening of painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.
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 the big party, when Miss Pettigrew talks with Joe on the balcony, the boom mic is visible moving back and forth between characters in the reflection of the windows. See more »
Do you know what my name is, Guinevere?
I was under the impression it was Delysia Lafosse.
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.
No, he wouldn't.
But you do.
Me? I certainly do not.
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 »
The letters of the opening credits are blown into place, like the wind, swirling into their correct position. See more »
Miss Pettigrew...Miss Pettigrew...Miss Pettigrew...
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 to the fullest.
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.
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