If there's a better reason to go to the movies these days than simply to watch Amy Adams in action, I don't know what it is. Adams follows her terrific performances in JUNEBUG and ENCHANTED with another triumph, this time as the ditzy, amoral yet warm-hearted and loveable '30s starlet Delysia Lafosse in MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY. In MISS PETTIGREW Adams calls to mind Carole Lombard's ability to play appealing screwballs, yet she has her own unique style. As in ENCHANTED, Adams also has the opportunity to showcase her lovely singing voice.
In the title role, Frances McDormand plays a London governess who has fallen on hard times and through gumption and luck lands a job as Delysia's social secretary. McDormand is excellent, drawing not only our sympathy, but our growing admiration for her quick thinking and pluck. Over the course of a single day, Miss Pettigrew leads Delysia to make positive changes, while at the same time, the day with Delysia completely transforms Miss Pettigrew's life.
The film is, in essence, a fairy tale, and it has a pair of wonderful Prince Charmings in Lee Pace (PUSHING DAISIES) and Ciaran Hinds (star of the '95 PERSUASION and the '97 JANE EYRE). Hinds is particularly effective as the lingerie designer who is tiring of London cafe society and spots a kindred spirit under Miss Pettigrew's initially drab exterior. Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle of the HARRY POTTER series) also contributes a striking performance as the rather creepy dress designer, Edythe.
While the depiction of Delysia's love life is definitely "modern," the film otherwise is an old-fashioned '30s-style feel-good movie, entertaining its audience with comedy, romance, music, and eye-catching sets and costumes. I'm already looking forward to watching it again when it comes out on DVD.
Rave reviews for MISS PETTIGREW can be enjoyed in USA Today, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
MISS PETTIGREW runs a fast-paced 92 minutes. It was directed by Bharat Nalluri.
The trailer can be seen here.