DVD Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (DVD 1362270),
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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Region 1 USA/CA (
As in MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS and BEING JULIA, this period comedy brings wit and style to its depiction of 1930s London. Based on Winifred Watson's novel, MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY begins with the title character, a frumpy governess winningly played by Frances McDormand (FARGO), being turned away from her employment agency. After losing her job prospects and all her earthly possessions in a mishap, Guinevere Pettigrew isn't sure where her next meal is coming from. But some cleverness leads her to the door of aspiring actress Delysia Lafosse, a woman who needs a social secretary to juggle her three men: a nightclub owner (Mark Strong), a son of a theater producer (Tom Payne), and a piano player (Lee Pace). The first two offer her a chance at stardom, but the pianist can't give her anything but love. In a single day, Miss Pettigrew helps Delysia navigate the ever-stormy waters of love, while she learns that romance may not only be reserved for the young.
With its witty script and jazzy score, MISS PETTIGREW may seem feather-light at times, but there's an undercurrent of sadness that gives the comedy a bit of weight. World War II is just about to come to London, and the echoes of the previous war still haunt those who can remember it. Unsurprisingly, McDormand gives a fantastic performance as the title character, but the effervescent Adams continues to surprise, even after turning in great work in JUNEBUG and ENCHANTED. As impressive as the two female leads are, there are some excellent performances from two male costars: Ciran Hinds (MARGOT AT THE WEDDING) is perfectly warm as a lingerie designer Miss Pettigrew encounters, and Pace (PUSHING DAISIES) wins hearts as the faithful Michael. Costume designer Michael O'Connor also deserves praise for creating the film's eye-catching clothing.
- for some partial nudity and innuendo
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 62102017
Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Ciaran Hinds, Shirley Henderson, Lee Pace, Mark Strong
"Acting, of course, has something to do with it. But the charm that emanates from Amy Adams like a perfume in MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY is also a natural gift."
New York Times
"[P]articularly effective and cheeky....Adams and McDormand's performances and winning chemistry are the heart and soul of this screwball comedy set in London in 1939."
"Bharat Nalluri directs with a light touch and a great eye for costumes and sets....It's pure romantic fantasy..."
Los Angeles Times
"[Adams] is a peach. Her sparkle requires only minor character adjustment and twinkle recharging from her recent triumph as the old-fashioned modern heroine in ENCHANTED."
"Clearly no expense has been spared in recreating the backdrop of pre-War London. The make-up and costumes, too, are sensational."
Sight and Sound
4 stars out of 5 -- "McDormand's comic timing is genius....[Her character's] plight and grateful pleasure for a grand day out feels genuine, insightful and touching."
3 stars out of 5 -- "This period tickler is all about the performances -- McDormand is as perpendicular as Adams is delightfully flighty."
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