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Finding Neverland [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Sweetness that doesn't turn saccharine is hard to find these days; Finding Neverland hits the mark. Much credit is due to the actors: Johnny Depp applies his genius for sly whimsy in his portrayal of playwright J. M. Barrie, who finds inspiration for his greatest creation from four lively boys, the sons of widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet, who miraculously fuses romantic yearning with common sense). Though the friendship threatens his already dwindling marriage, Barrie spends endless hours with the boys, pretending to be pirates or Indians--and gradually the elements of Peter Pan take shape in his mind. The relationship between Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies family sparks both an imagined world and a quiet rebellion against the stuffy forces of respectability, given physical form by Barrie's resentful wife (Radha Mitchell, High Art) and Sylvia's mother (Julie Christie, McCabe and Mrs. Miller). This gentle silliness could have turned to treacle, but Depp and Winslet--along with newcomer Freddie Highmore as one of the boys--keep their feet on the earth while their eyes gaze into their dreams. Also featuring a comically crusty turn from Dustin Hoffman (who appeared in another Peter Pan-themed movie, Hook) as a long-suffering theater producer. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Most people know the story of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up. Director Marc Forster's (Monster's Ball) Finding Neverland delves deeper, depicting a fictionalised account of the family and events that inspired the classic tale. At the turn of the 20th Century, Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie's (Johnny Depp) latest play in London has flopped almost as badly as his marriage to stature-seeking Mary (Radha Mitchell). During one of his frequent excursions to the park with his dog, Barrie meets four young boys and their recently widowed mother, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet). Soon Barrie becomes a frequent playmate to the children, using the boys' imagination to take them on fanciful adventures. He also becomes a friend and confidante to the overwhelmed Sylvia, much to the dismay of her overbearing mother (Julie Christie). Barrie's active imagination and interaction with the family inspires 'Peter Pan', a play that celebrates the child in everyone and the importance of believing in fantasies and miracles. A droll and amusing Dustin Hoffman appears as American Charles Frohman, Barrie's producer. The film also features young Freddie Highmore as Peter Llewelyn Davies, the inspiration for Barrie's title character. --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are at their masterful best in exploring the intimate pieces of this story and the children are a delight. If you enjoy curling up with friend/family or a bottle of wine and popcorn this is the film for you, but if you need all action and loose concentration easily leave this lovely film alone.
As far as Bluray is concerned I enjoyed the crispness of the picture and I am sure the added quality helped the experience but I don't think this is a film that particularly shows off the full effect of Bluray, but at under £10.00 I would still invest in the better quality.
If I didn't know that Johnny Depp is American, I'd be certain that he's Scottish; his accent is spot on.
After it arrived, I wasn't so sure if I should have bought such an impulse, but after ten minutes I was lost to the world!
I don't think it matters at all if you were a Peter Pan fan, I certainly wasn't. This movie spoke to me as it would to everyone, it's about escapism, about Neverland. It's about one man's struggle to be inspired, and he finds it, and this in itself, to me, is inspirational and is what made the movie beautiful.
The whole movie is a masterpiece, don't let anyone tell you any different. If they didn't like it, they had their reasons. I should imagine it's not to everyone's tastes. This is one you have to judge for yourself.
Enjoy and be astounded.
With regards to the DVD, the special features are actually quite good and it's worth the however much extra for them (if you're a fan of the movie).
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Abandoned it after 40 minutes.
The characters felt wooden; Johnny (yawn) Depp - despite a convincing Scotch accent -...Read more