Top positive review
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A pleasant diversion
on 17 June 2008
I recommend this film if you are one, like me, who sometimes needs to be entertained without having any demands made on one's intellect or powers of analysis.
The novel on which it is based is a fizzy cocktail of a read, and the film is a faithful adaptation in that respect, although some twists were invented and liberties taken in order to add a few more interesting facets to plot and character. The essential Cinderella story (or, more accurately, the story of a down-and-out but deserving woman who takes advantage of the situation at hand in order to better her own circumstances) is preserved. The art deco sets are sumptuous, and the period songs that supplement the film score set the tone wonderfully.
Amy Adams would not have been my first choice to play Delysia LaFosse (is that a name, or what??); nevertheless, she is appropriately flighty and alluring. Frances McDormand does a marvelous job as Guinevere Pettigrew(another rather startling name). But the main attractions for me are the male stars, particularly Ciaran Hinds and Mark Strong, who play the prosaically named Joe and Nick, respectively.
I actually liked the movie better than the book, perhaps because the wonderful cast skillfully fleshes out what would otherwise be a rather slender story for a feature film. Make yourself a fizzy cocktail, pop this DVD into the machine, and enjoy.