Length: 92 minutes
Director: Bharat Nalluri (The Crow: Salvation; Tsunami: The Aftermath)
Writers: David Magee (Finding Neverland) and Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty; Among Giants)
Starring: Amy Adams, Frances McDormand, Shirley Henderson, Ciaran Hinds, Lee Pace, Tom Payne, Mark Strong, Christina Cole
Mark my words- one day Amy Adams will win an Academy Award. Like a similar complaint I made with my “Snow Angels” review a few posts ago, once Oscar voting starts “Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day” will be long forgotten and Ms. Adams will be robbed of a well deserved nomination (much like she was for her performance in “Enchanted”- though at least she got to sing at the ceremony). She has been nominated once before (and should have won) for her role in the wonderful “Junebug”. Now that the world is finally starting to become familiar with a talent that the critics and her fan base have loved for quite a while- it’s just a matter of time before she’s holding a gold statue. She brings so much energy to her performance in this film that it literally lights up every time she is onscreen- which thankfully is extremely often. Not that she isn’t surrounded by talent- the cast also includes Oscar winner Frances McDormand (Fargo), Ciaran Hinds (There Will Be Blood), and Shirley Henderson (Trainspotting). I have a feeling that the mood and flow of this film is what George Clooney was going for with his recent misstep “Leatherheads”. “Miss Pettigrew” is also a throw back to the screwball comedies of yesteryear- only it works very well here. Unlike Clooney’s film, where only Renee Zellweger seemed to be on the right page, everyone here knows what they’re doing and they do it right. There are times where you think that Adams and McDormand actually are acting in a movie from the 1930’s or ‘40’s, except the movie looks so damned good that it reminds you that it is in fact a movie made in this era. McDormand plays the title character, Guinevere Pettigrew, a personal assistant in London during the days before World War II was about to break out. She is constantly fired from job after job, but it seems like she’s getting the raw end of the deal. When she complains to the boss at the employment agency that maybe her last employer should “stop drinking so much”, she is told that “you change for them, they don’t change for you”. Desperate, Miss Pettigrew swipes an address off the boss’ desk and goes to visit it’s resident- Delysia Lafosse (Adams). Lafosse is stunned to find that it is ten in the morning and not ten at night and has Miss Pettigrew rush her latest lover- an up and coming theater producer (Tom Payne) - out of her flat before it’s owner and her sugar daddy, Nick Colderelli (Mark Strong) arrives home. Pettigrew is in shock at all of Delysia’s loves. “Well there’s also Michael!”, she tells her and then laughs, “That’s only three!”. Delysia doesn’t need a personal assistant as much as she does someone to help juggle her messy love life. She refers to Miss Pettigrew as her “social adviser” to Nick. Delysia needs Nick for a place to stay and a job (she sings at his nightclub). She needs the theater producer, Phil, because he says he can make her a star. Her heart, however, belongs to the piano player in her night club act and ex-con Michael (Lee Pace). Michael is neither rich nor high in social status obviously, but he accepts who for who she really is and we learn later that she really isn’t much of a Delysia Lafosse after all. Meanwhile, Miss Pettigrew does get her chance to live for a day. Instead of fishing bread out of dumpsters and going to soup kitchens, she gets to go to fancy balls, eat gourmet food, and get a make over. She also finds that Delysia isn’t the only one who can attract men, as a prominent fashion designer (Hinds) makes his intentions well known to her after they meet at one of his shows. It’s a busy twenty four hours, no doubt about it, but that’s what makes the film so much fun. It’s a throwback to when an audience could stretch their imagination and remember that they are just watching a movie and that is was possible for people to fall in love at first sight and a happy ending could be had for all.
Download Soundtrack MP3:
Cole Porter- Anything Goes