Friday, August 22, 2008

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) Film Review

Plot Summary - Period farce set in 1930s London at the brink of WWII. In which frumpy Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand), currently on the streets and eating in soup kitchens after several lost jobs as a governess, gets herself hired on as new "social secretary" to dizzy starlet/singer/wannabee actress Delysia LaFosse (Amy Adams), who thinks Miss Pettigrew previously worked for Carole Lombard. Miss Pettigrew proceeds to help Delysia juggle three men - one a successful nightclub owner, the second a young producer who is putting on a new West End show and promises to put Delysia in the lead (after she spent the night with him, of course), and the third a piano player who is Delysia's best friend and only love. With a natural knack for helping the people in this new and glamorous world, one day is all it takes for wise Miss Pettigrew to help change Delysia LaFosse's life and Delysia to help change hers, with the help of a makeover and a trip to a fashion show where Miss Pettigrew meets a handsome lingerie designer.

Review - As this film first started I wasn't too into it, but it grew on me and ended up being reasonably good, helped along by some interesting photography and well done period settings including fancy art deco styling, attractive 30s costuming, and nicely lit nightclub scene, swinging with big band music. The film is also helped along by good performances by Frances McDormand and Amy Adams, as well as a camaraderie between the two. Okay film - though a few complaints: though the story held my interest, this seemed like it was supposed to be sort of a comedy/farce but I didn't find the film particularly funny or even that amusing, second: well, it wasn't too bad, but this was yet another film with British accents where I had to play the English subtitles to help follow the dialogue (otherwise I find I have to keep backing up the film to understand what was said). I don't know if it's the way they mix sound on films now, but I have found more and more (including American accented current day films) where it's hard to understand what people are saying. Rating - 6 to 7/10 stars

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