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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Movie Review - Finding Neverland

No dinner tonight, except for frozen eggrolls. My kitchen cupboards are bare since I haven't been grocery shopping in nearly two weeks. Plus I didn't get home until nearly 730pm tonight due to a hair appointment.

But I did pick up a video to watch on this extremely cold evening.

Tuesday Night's Featured Attraction: Finding Neverland is the story of J. M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.

Pam's Review: This is an absolutely wonderful movie that is so very touching. I'm still drying my eyes after having a good cry. Johnny Depp as J.M. Barrie, author of "Peter Pan", is simply awesome. Depp again demonstrates that he is the most gifted and versatile actor of his generation.

Peter Davies, the muse of Peter Pan, is amazing. Peter's on screen relationship with James Barrie is deeply compassionate and inspiring, and makes "Finding Neverland" a very special movie and experience.

"Neverland" tells the story of how James Barrie created Peter Pan in 1904. Barrie at the time was a renowned play-write, who is in the midst of a dry spell. He, along with his benefactor and producer, Charles Frohman (Dustin Hoffman, who injects a great light touch), have weathered a stage flop. Barrie must create something that audiences will embrace. He develops a relationship with a widow, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslett), and her four young boys, George, Jack, Peter, and Michael.

Barrie is married, and his wife Mary is not pleased that her husband is spending all his time with another family. Though their marriage seems to have died years ago. Also displeased is Sylvia's mother. By Barrie spending so much time with the family, Sylvia's value is depreciated. In a more contemporary sense people start talking about Barrie, in particular his spending time with the Davies boys.

Barrie notices that Peter, who is at first resistant to him, seems in a hurry to grow up, thinking that things are less painful as an adult. Peter has taken the death of his father especially hard. In a stirring scene with Barrie, Peter tells him that he will not tolerate adults "lying" to him. That had happened with his father.

The last 20 minutes of "Finding Neverland" is so very touching and inspiring. "Peter Pan" is not just a fairy tale, rather a metaphor. We all grow old, in this we don't have a choice in the matter. However, if a part of us remains young, the part that makes the world always new and miraculous, not necessarily believing in fairies, rather remembering what that was like, then we grow old, without being truly old.

Maybe that is finding Neverland. Barrie says to Peter at the end, "Just believe." That is well said. Just believe. The whole ending, I was just in tears. I don't think they were tears of sadness, but tears of joy. This movie just made me feel so good inside.

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