Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tonight's Movie: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)

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.


Blogger Irene said...

Thank you for this review. This is a movie I have been thinking of seeing (especially because Amy Adams is in it and also it is set in the 30's - love those costumes, cars, etc. from then). So I think I will make a concerted effort to go see it :)

6:35 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I hope you'll enjoy it, Irene -- it's definitely a '30s feast for the eyes. (The bathtub was particularly dazzling.) Let me know what you think!

Best wishes,

7:21 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Went to see this movie today with my daughter. We both loved it. Yes, that bathtub was something else. My daughter was absolutely drooling over the costumes, especially the blue dress and hat Amy Adams wore. Got a big kick out of the lingerie show with those corsets and bras. I wish the movie had a soundtrack that could be purchased. Loved the music but then I like that era's music anyway.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm so glad you liked it too, Irene!
It made for a great time at the movies.

We were wondering about a soundtrack as looks like they have put one out:


Best wishes,

9:59 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Oh, good. They usually list a soundtrack available blurb at the end of the credits but there wasn't one listed. Thanks for this link. I will have to look into this as I don't buy off the internet (no credit card) but hopefully Best Buy or F.Y.E. will have it :)

10:22 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I know B&N's music department will order things they carry on line for in-store pickup -- a clerk recently offered to order something for me. Good luck!


10:23 PM  

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