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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swell
This is a wonderful film. The black and white world of Pleasantville slowly becoming coloured is a simple but very effective idea that is here EXTREMELY well executed. The script, direction and acting easily stand out over the spectacular effects-trickery. A tiny disappointment is that the 'The Art of Pleasantville' documentary is pretty poorly produced, filmed for...
Published on 14 July 2000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars pleasant little film
i thought the use of colour as residents came to terms with and embraced there new lifestyle was very well done. all the actors made their contributions. I wasnt sure what to expect but was pleasantly supprised especially as the colour came in. I will watch this film again.
Published 15 months ago by J. Schofield


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swell, 14 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Pleasantville [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This is a wonderful film. The black and white world of Pleasantville slowly becoming coloured is a simple but very effective idea that is here EXTREMELY well executed. The script, direction and acting easily stand out over the spectacular effects-trickery. A tiny disappointment is that the 'The Art of Pleasantville' documentary is pretty poorly produced, filmed for some reason on a shaky camcorder with far too much time devoted to an interview in which the guy wanders about his studio for ages in search of his 'special chair'. I'm not sure why this was considered worthy to include on the DVD.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely outstanding- a true classic!, 23 July 2006
By 
S. Nawrat (near london, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pleasantville [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This film is one of my favourite films. It is one of those few films that I can watch over and over and over again

It is funny, beautiful, moving, insightful and thought provoking without being tacky, cheesy and preaching to the viewer. Also, Pleasantville is full of classic moments with an outstanding cast.

I would strongly recommend this film to anyone.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film - with morals!!, 23 Nov 2007
By 
This review is from: Pleasantville [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
A brilliant film. Its a shame that a previous review thought that the characters changing from black and white to colour meant that this was advocating sexual promiscuity. In my opinion, when characters changed to colour it meant they had opened their eyes, experienced something new, widened their vision - if it was about sexual promiscuity, why wasnt Reese Witherspoons character MaryJane in colour right from the start?!! She only changes to colour when she's read - and enjoyed - a book. Thought it was absolutely beautiful, really enjoyed it, not a bad word to say. Fab fab fab.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make 'em like this anymore!, 20 April 2001
By A Customer
I expected a lot from 'Pleasantville', with no less than ten excellent comments from newspapers and magazines on its cover, yet I was also somewhat wary. After all, I had watched several movies with high expectations due to Oscars, reviews etc. and been subsequently disappointed. However, on this occasion, I was not.
Pleasantville belongs to an old genre of movies - dazzling in every way. It was original, imaginative, clever, intelligent, funny and witty with stunning visual effects, great costumes and set designs - in fact, overall, it was just brilliant.
The story revolves around two modern-day teenage siblings, played expertly by Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon (who is showing great potential to be more than a teenage star). Whilst the two are fighting over what to watch on the television, they find themselves transported to the world of Maguire's favourite programme - Pleasantville.
Pleasantville, a black and white 50s series, is a world where everything is just, well, pleasant - there has never been any hatred, aggression or tears, any passionate kisses, love or sex, any flat tyres, works of art, red roses or rain. However, this all rapidly changes as Maguire and Witherspoon, in the guise of the two of the show's most popular characters - Bud and Mary-Sue - begin to spread chaos throughout the perfect town.
As they introduce things such as double beds and baths to the show, glorious Technicolor begins to creep into the monochrome world of Pleasantville.
This film is consistently funny, the funniest scenes being where the two teenagers know more than the adults - the scene in which Witherspoon teaches her mother (played excellently by Joan Allen) the facts of life, in particular, sticks in mind.
This film is also very clever and there is a definite play on racism, with signs saying 'NO COLOUREDS' appearing in shop windows, referring to the Technicoloured individuals in Pleasantville, but the term 'coloured' is definitely double-edged here.
The whole cast is superb and it is impossible to pick out an individual from the finely-tuned cast who particularly stands out, although, as usual, the versatile Reese Witherspoon gives a fantastic performance.
The subtle, yet visually stunning and magical special effects do not go amiss and teamed with the marvellous cast, costumes, set and hugely original storyline make this a fabulous movie, which deserved far more recognition than it received.
Pleasantville was brilliant in all aspects. Despite my expectations, my eyes remained glued to the screen for the two-hour duration of the film. This movie is extremely good, clean fun - they certainly don't make 'em like this anymore.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 21 May 2002
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pleasantville [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I saw this last year and I have to say it is probably my favourite film ever. The actors are the ideal people for the film and all perform brilliantly. This movie is pure fantasy and is does what a good movie should do - take you away from real-life for 2 hours and make you forget everything. This is the first film I saw with Tobey Maguire in, and he shows how good an actor he is. Other actors include Reese Witherspoon, Jeff Daniels, and a couple of other famous faces you've seen in other things (such as Riley from Buffy). The effects are fantastic, especially when half the screen is colour and the other half is black & white.
This is a fairytale movie in which none of the things you see will happen for real, and that is how it should be. An excellent movie that should get a lot more recognition and is a class apart from a lot of recent films.
Deserves 5 stars, no hesitation.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful but thought provoking, 1 Oct 2004
By 
Ms. H. Sinton "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pleasantville [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
A modern day brother and sister, David and Jennifer argue over what to watch on T.V. He wants to watch his favourite show 'Pleasantville'(a black and white show set in the 1950's); she wants to watch a music show. Their argument leads to the remote control being broken at which point a mysterious repairman leaves them a new one which transports the pair to the idyllic Pleasantville. Finding themselves trapped in this monochrome world they try to fit in whilst finding a way back to reality.
The people of Pleasantville have never experienced art, rain, colour, or anything less than perfection and have no awareness of a world or life outside of their town. The arrival of the two teenagers sparks a change and gradually colour and reality start encroaching on this little town. At this point we can see the uglier side of reality developing as some of the townspeople turn against the 'coloureds' and fight against any change in their existence.
This is a wonderful film to watch. It has its magical, whimsical side whilst also managing to address the issue of prejudice. Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon deliver great performances as the geeky brother and sparky sister and are a perfect foil for each other. Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine film, not to be missed, 28 Feb 2000
By A Customer
Wow! I watched this video last night and realised I'd forgotten how great it was after seeing it at the cinema. 'Pleasantville' is based on an entertaining concept (modern disaffected youths are sucked into idyllic black-and-white 50's US TV-show world), the story is played out by great actors (Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Reese Witherspoon [pre-Election] and Tobey Maguire [pre-Cider-House]), and the movie as a whole puts across some altruistic messages without coming across as cheesy.
It's tempting to compare 'Pleasantville' with 'The Truman Show' since both stories follow protagonists living their lives in a golden-age white-picket-fenced American smalltown utopia, and who are effectively playing out parts in a TV show. But the premises of the two films are wildly different. Truman Burbank is a real man living in a massive industry-constructed TV studio, all those around him played by actors. It's close to the real world, though set slightly forward in time. The brother-sister heroes of Pleasantville, by contrast, are real people supernaturally transplanted into the TV universe of a regular old show. The Truman Show examines the plight of the individual attempting to make a stand against an oppressive society and those who control it; Pleasantville's perspective is far more socially-based, showing a community blossoming into self-awareness.
The effects (well, the one drawn-out effect of Pleasantville slowly transforming from monochrome to Technicolor as the town's inhabitants each experience their individual epiphanies of realness) serve the story wonderfully - the scenes when the black-and-white of Lover's Lane is interrupted by a red rose and a shower of pink petals are gorgeous - rivaling any of the images in 'American Beauty'.
I could go on for a dozen paragraphs about my favourite parts of the film, but I'll restrain myself to encouraging you to watch this video, if you think you can stomach the movie's essentially moral message and its occasionally sledgehammer-sensitive symbolism (girl tempts monochrome boy with juicy red apple, etc). 'Pleasantville' gamely tackles a slew of issues - rejection of traditionally monotonous work routines, liberation of women from an age-old homemaker role, etc, but really falls down only when it alludes to racial prejudice (OK, having a 'No Coloreds' sign is a knowing reference to America's relatively recent racist past, but the arrival of a few non-white characters would have been a better way to examine racism in US society).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good., 1 Oct 2008
By 
Observer (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pleasantville [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Pleasantville is an example of creative movie making ripe for hijacking by those with issues to grind.
Director Gary Ross samples social issues and cliches to illuminate this tale in a similar fashion to how historical footage was used in Forrest Gump.
Whatever your preconception of the 50's America ideal is...you'll find it woven in here.
If I studied it in any great depth, i imagine the characters illustrate our vulnerability when society engenders institutionalised thinking. Particulaly the negative aspects of institutionalised thinking.
Anyway, a hugely enjoyable, creative and memorable movie. A great credit to Gary Ross and all those involved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Throught provoking and fun, 8 Oct 2009
This review is from: Pleasantville [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This is a thought provoking film if you want it to be, but also just plain fun if you don't want to think too much. It's not action packed or romantic or particularly funny, it presses different buttons. It is a very different sort of film. For me, it's nice to see a film that doesn't try to be too clever but still manages to be incredibly original. Very well executed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unpredictable, cleverly nostalgic with a lot to say, 19 July 2007
This review is from: Pleasantville [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
In case you haven't already read or heard about this film, I won't give away my favourite cameo surprise appearance in this film. I'll just say that if you grew up on TV like I did, you'll smile and realize how fitting it is to see this actor in this film.

Enough of the cryptic stuff. This film starts out with what so many of us have talked about regarding the "ideal family" in the 50's sitcoms like Ozzy & Harriet or Leave it To Beaver. This movie was not predictable at all to me. What do you think would happen if two modern teenagers found themselves in "Pleasantville"? They bring their knowledge and colour, good & bad. Wouldn't they have an affect on Pleasantville? How would the townspeople react?

It's great to see Toby McGuire before Spiderman. His character is still good and noble and brave. He's a natural leader and all 'round good guy. Reese Witherspoon's character was a nice surprise too. There's a great cast all 'round this film. Lots of familiar faces, very well cast. This film would make a great subject for a college English course, or a great springboard for an interesting conversation between two good friends.

Get your favourite beverage and a good friend, and... enjoy!
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Pleasantville [DVD] [1998]
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