Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Review of "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day," DVD version

Review of
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, DVD version

Four out of five stars
 This quirky romance is set in London right before the outbreak of World War II. There are a few times in the movie where that context is significant, but they are very few and are of great portent, but not regarding the plot.
 Frances McDormand stars as Miss Pettigrew and when the story opens, she has just been fired from the position as a servant of a wealthy lady. With no assets, she goes to a soup kitchen for a free meal and when she is about to eat it, she is bumped, and it falls on the ground. Acquiring her last job through an agency, she goes there, only to be told that with her record, she is now considered unemployable. Desperate, Miss Pettigrew learns that another employee of the agency is scheduled to go to a job for an actress and intercepts the communication so that the actress believes that Miss Pettigrew was sent by the agency.
 Amy Adams plays the glamorous and high-society singer actress Delysia Lafosse, and when Miss Pettigrew arrives, the apartment is in a state of chaos, Lafosse needs to get the man in her bed dressed and out of the apartment before another man in her life arrives. Lafosse is portrayed as a superficial airhead, stringing several men along while she determines which one of best suited to advance her career. However, as the film progresses, we learn that she is much more than that. Clearly a child of the Depression, Lafosse is for the first time somebody, rather than just another woman struggling to survive.
 This movie is meant to be a comedy romance, yet the humor is often lost due to the overplayed dingbat features of Lafosse and the self-serving wickedness of other women. The romance part works much better, particularly at the end, where everything turns out to be about love. Your emotional strings are pulled when you think that Miss Pettigrew is suddenly tossed back where she was in the beginning, alone in a terminal with no hope. Suddenly, things change. Although this is clearly a chick-flick, guys can relate to it as well.
 My favorite parts of the movie are the references to the potential for war between Britain and Germany. There are not many but make up for it in their ominous nature. For example, there is a scene where a formation of heavy British bombers fly overhead. Anyone with knowledge of what happened during the Second World War will recognize it for the powerful harbinger of their future reality.

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