WYSHW: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day
It may seem that I’ve gone a little soft with these What You Should Have Watch-es, but don’t fret, this is the last chickish flick I’ll do for a while. As you may or may not noticed, once I switch genres I tend to stay on them for a while. Granted, just because these movies fall in an otherwise uninteresting genre doesn’t mean they’re not worth checking out – after all, there wouldn’t be this whole WYSHW feature, would there? Without further a due, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.
If you couldn’t tell, the story follows a Miss Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand), a down-on-her-luck governess living in pre-WWII London. In the course of 24 hours, she is swept up in the lavish life of an American singer named Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams), and sparks a friendship which drastically changes both of their lives.
To say this film is charming is more than an understatement. This is like Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine hosting a fancy dress garden party in Wonderland freaking charming. Visually this movie is practically marzipan – however, just when you think you can’t take it, you can understand the fact that this film is remains grounded. For instance Miss Pettigrew’s ugly duckling transformation is not entirely that hard to believe, being that she still sticks to her values and doesn’t change as a person, she just has a different wrapper.
What makes this movie even more discernible is the casting. Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Lee Pace, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds and Shirley Henderson- all wonderful, credible actors staging this slice of life story. Now, the story itself seems quite shallow at first, being that it surrounds a woman trying to figure out which man to chose – one for stardom, one for security or one for companionship? Believe me, just the sound of that makes me nauseous. What makes this movie worth the WYSHW status is that its simplicity is what makes it so pleasant – it’s honest and lovely and embraces the uncertainty of chance, a statement made even more powerful by the forthcoming of the Second World War. If you want a sweet love story without the cheese, check this movie out.
I need a break from this cutesy stuff. Next time, a movie about some guy who kills people. Literally.