Monday, March 24, 2008

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

My sister and I saw Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day in LA. I love watching movies in California, everyone just seems to take them so much more seriously there. Also, I like clapping when the movie's over. At the theatre we went to, they had costumes from the show on mannequins in the lobby. Somehow that greatly increased my film-watching pleasure. It's a pre-war story, so the costumes are absolutely gorgeous constructed pieces - fabulous hats and amazing art nouveau sets.

Like an old fashioned comedy of manners, Miss Pettigrew Lives for Day is the story of penniless Miss Pettigrew (Francis McDormand), a disapproving, uptight, daughter-of-a-minister who, if she wants to eat, must work as the social secretary of an aspiring actress with more relaxed morals, Delysia Lafosse (the very charming Amy Adams). Miss Pettigrew finds herself shaking her own convictions to help Delysia juggle her boyfriends while Delysia works to make Miss Pettigrew more presentable, thus transforming her from the dowdy, unkempt matron to a well-coiffed companion.

All of that would have added up to a bit of fluff if the movie didn't take place on the dawn of WWII. The older, (British) characters look on with dread of anticipation while the younger ones are merely caught up in the excitement and naivety of impending war time. I'd recommend it to just about anyone, especially if you like a good costume.

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