Thursday, August 28, 2014

Finding Neverland Review

via
(this review is spoiler-free)

Rated  PG for mild thematic elements and brief language (MPAA)
Director  
Time 106 min
Release year 2004
Soundtrack Jan A. P. Kaczmarek



(Watch the trailer here) Finding Neverland is the story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with the family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. It is loosely based on real events, many liberties are taken to make the story simple. The movie opens in Edwardian London on the opening night of a play by the well known playwright Barrie. However the play is a failure and further performances are cancelled. Barrie is dejected at this but does not seem surprised. He knows he's been struggling for inspiration in his writing. The following day he goes to the park with his dog Porthos and meets four boys and their widowed mother: the Davies family, with whom he immediately becomes good friends.


At the time this story opens James Barrie is married to Mary, a former actress, and their relationship is falling apart. Mary doesn't appreciate James's interests and he never succeeds in opening his innermost heart for her and taking her to his Neverland, a place she had dreamed of going with him, if only once. James spends more and more time with his new friends in the park, helping them as a neighbor and playing with the boys, and less time with her. She eventually leaves him after having an affair with another man. The movie is rated PG and all of this is told subtlety but I would not call it a kid's movie.

via
Throughout the movie the four Davies boys are principle characters. Of them the oldest and second youngest are the most dwelt on, especially the younger, Peter. The boys' mother becomes very ill at one time and the older boy, John, grows up because of it. He becomes a man quite suddenly and stands up as such for his family. I admired him for that. Peter has a hard time letting himself grow close in friendship with 'Uncle James'; he's broken with the loss of his father. The friendship between James and Peter seemed a lasting theme throughout the movie. The question as to whether the inspiration for the boy Peter Pan was Peter Davies or James Barrie, Finding Neverland never answers, and it leaves both possibilities open, though hinting at the latter.  


Finding Neverland
via
The movie is a beautiful piece of art as such; I think that's what I loved it as mainly. The music fits beautifully and is quite lovely. It stood out to me how well told the story was. The script is well written and the characters beautifully drawn out, carried and handled skillfully. I liked Kate Winslet as Mrs Davies very much, which I had not been expecting to do. Johnny Depp was wonderful as J.M. Barrie. I could easily imagine his portrayal of Barrie writing Peter Pan. The acting on the part of the four boys was great, especially Peter's (played by  who played Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). I liked the way in which the story and writing of Peter Pan was mixed with James's own story and life. The pieces we saw of the play Peter and Wendy were enchanting. Finding Neverland was funny at times but more often it was beautiful in its little moments. I liked how accurate certain aspects of humanity, friendship, and writing were. I liked the characters and the actors who played them. And I loved the ending, and maybe it's sad, but I didn't find it so. 

my rating 4.5 / 5
favorite line Magnificent. Somewhere in the last 30 seconds you became a grown-up. 



12 comments:

  1. I agree, this was a beautiful movie. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would when I finally saw it. Nice review!

    ~Jamie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jamie! I had mainly wanted to see if for Johnny Depp's part in it and ended up liking the the movie better than I had thought I would, like you.

      xx

      Delete
  2. Great review! It sounds like a good movie :) Have you watched Guardians of the Galaxy yet? I know you love Marvel ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Angela! haha Yes, I do love Marvel. :) I did get to see Guardians and enjoyed it a lot. Here's my review of it for you. ;) Have you seen it yet? What did you think of it?

      xx

      Delete
  3. I haven't seen it before, but it sounds like a great movie! :)

    catscraftsncritters.blogspot.ca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked it - the music, Johnny Depp, his portrayal of J.M. Barrie, etc. Thanks for commenting Amy. <3

      xx

      Delete
  4. Aww I really want to see this now! I was warned it was too sad and depressing, but your review has convinced me otherwise =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand someone finding it depressing, but I didn't find it so. My sister thought the ending was sad and I didn't. So there you go. I hope you enjoy it if you see it Livvie, even with the sad-ish parts there're still something to laugh at and it's a beautiful film.

      xx

      Delete
  5. Hi!! I love your blog!! This movie looks great. I love Johnny Depp and I love your favourite line. ;)

    -M
    http://thelyfoflittleme.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey M! Thank you very much. <3 Johnny Depp is great. I'm glad you like that line too.

      xx

      Delete
  6. I liked this movie, it was really sweet. I'm glad I didn't know that there were historical inaccuracies when I saw it -- those always bother me. Johnny Depp being relatively normal was really nice, and I like Kate Winslet. Freddie Highmore was my favorite though. He always so great!

    Lovely review!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know how close it was to the actual history when I saw it but I looked up Barrie later and found out. It says 'loosely based' at the beginning or something and I wondered how loosely. ;) Freddie Highmore really was great. I'm glad you liked the movie too! :) Thanks Sarah! :)

      xx

      Delete