Monday, March 17, 2008

Review: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Today I took in the new flick "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day," starring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams (pictured above). The story: Guinevere Pettigrew is a governess, well, a bad governess. She's just been released from a very short-lived position, and finds herself in line at a soup kitchen. She begs her employment agency - unsuccessfully - for one more position and, in desperation, steals a job. The position turns out to be social secretary for a would-be starlet, Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams). Delysia is juggling several men and a less-than-pure lifestyle in London in the late 1930s, a situation into which Miss Pettigrew inserts herself. Complicating things for Miss P: an unexpected attraction to the lingerie designer played by Irish actor Ciaran Hinds:

I have to admit to a little crush on Hinds. He's done some great work in "Rome" and "There Will Be Blood" (I love that IMDB describes him as "a close friend of Liam Neeson" - yowsah!).

And Delysia's "true love" is played by Lee Pace (above). He's most recently been seen in "Pushing Daisies" (love that show!) - and is a definite cutie!

The story is your basic formulaic bedroom farce. Lovers and others run behind slamming doors, hide under tables and on window ledges, misunderstandings threaten the lovers. It had a lot more depth than I had anticipated, and some really good performances. Amy Adams is fast becoming one of my favorite young actresses - she totally channels Carole Lombard in this part. Smart, sassy, but seemingly innocent and dumb. She totally inhabits this role, as she has recently in "June Bug" and "Enchanted." Frances McDormand does bland and unattractive so well - yet allows us to see the beauty beneath the surface.

It was a charming film - not overly long, with several laugh-out-loud moments. Enjoyable, not memorable, but fun nonetheless.



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