Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Movie Review
I wonder if the director, Bharat Nalluri being of Indian origin has something to do with the fact that he manages to portray the prudery of the main character so well?
No spoilers:-That is what the movie is about, a middle-aged out of work governess (Guinevere Pettigrew played brilliantly by Frances McDormand), a prim and proper vicar’s daughter. She is clear about what is moral and what isn’t. She is righteous and high-minded, pedantic and stuffy…not at all surprising for a middle aged lady in England of 1939. Not that we in India of 2008 are unfamiliar with her sort – middle-aged men and women eager to lecture you at a drop of a hat if they see you up to something “immoral” be it drinking or smoking or flirting or keeping an unkempt house. People who are scandalized and outraged if they see couples kissing or women revealing skin.
Such people would definitely find it difficult to get along with normal people, and it’s not surprising that our Miss Pettigrew doesn’t get along too well either. But alas, luck doesn’t favour her…because the stern and unsmiling woman is catapulted into a situation where she has to question each and every principle she has held dear all her life. And that is where the comic element comes in…but no, this doesn’t mean that the director decides to teach poor Guinevere a lesson. As the story progresses we see the warm and generous spirit behind Guinevere’s apparent meanness…and well, as we soon realise, good things do happen to good people.
Amy Adams does a good job as Delysia Lafosse, the young girl who has stars in her eyes and a lie on her lips. There are three important male characters in the movie, Tom Payne who plays Phil, Lee Pace who plays Michael and Ciaren Hinds who plays Joe. Their roles are subordinate to that of the two women, but the story does revolve around the men.
Overall, a cute flick just right to catch on a rainy day, preferably on DVD. It’s been adapted from a book. I saw it in a theatre, but then I always like to see films in theaters. The movie is short and sweet – only one and a half hours long. And it’s got good reviews on rotten tomatoes. In India it’s been a late release, several months after its limited release in America in March. However, it was released in the U.K just earlier this month and is yet to release in countries like Norway and Spain.
(Photo credits: rottentomatoes)