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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day 2008

Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle-aged London governess, finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse...

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Not a great work of art, but an entertaining screwball comedy. Frances McDormand's Miss Pettigrew is a delight to watch, but her transformation from a very shaken, insecure shambles to a very in-control, self-confident potential success was just a little too quick, and took place almost instantaneously upon being dressed with a new set of clothing. I would have preferred that she retain more of her nervousness and desperation throughout. They could have made more comedy out of her not having successfully obtained a bite to eat (other than the cuke slices) during her 24 hours post-firing.

Amy Adams did a decent job, but as my better half observed, her over-acting was demanded by her part. (It's so hard not to see her as the princess from Enchanted!)

Oh, and the costumes were great!
Excellent film, the sets are astonishing.
"All of the characters in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day are about as unrealistic as the whimsical Giselle, the cheery role Amy Adams played in last year's Enchanted."

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This is a great period piece with enough skin to keep male audiences interested.

For the ladies: a very romantic story with contemporary situations.

The pace is engaging and keeps audiences entertained.

A lovely chick flick to introduce romance back into society.
This was one of the best movies that I have seen for a while. Frances and Amy were both fantastic. My husband, who wasn't thrilled about seeing it, thought that it was great. We can't say enough about it.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day
dir. Bharat Nalluri

Romance, intrigue and high-living intoxication make this film into a ravishing, hopeful, and energetic filmic experience that wins on every point.

Frances McDormand plays the titular character with a seamless facade that allows her to keep her distance from the frivolous shenanigans going on around her. Pettigrew is reserved, the daughter of a minister, and not used to living it up. When we first meet her she has just been sacked from yet another governess job and is trying to score some free food in a soup kitchen. When she goes back to the agency she is told she simply in not suitable for this line of work. On a total freak whim Pettirgrew snatches a card of a woman named Delysia Lafosse (a simply dazzling Amy Adams) and proceeds to pretend she is the woman Miss Lafosse sent for. The rest of the film is filled with many complicated relationships, deceit, and, naturally, love. Miss Lafosse is a would-be actress who is trying to sleep her way into a role in a big West End production when Miss Pettigrew first meets her. She's got three men pining for her but her first consideration is her career. Phil (Tom Payne) is casting his lead actress in a big West End production. Nick (Mark Strong) owns the nightclub where Miss Lafosse sings. Michael (Lee Pace) is a poor piano player who wants to marry her. It's no mystery who she ends up with but the ride there is quite delightful for a number of reasons.

The pace of this film is electric. Especially early on when Pettigrew is getting used to masquerading as a society person. The scenes where she is made over into a vision more becoming her relationship to Miss Lafosse is quite stunning. McDormand captures her character's sense of wonder at being suddenly thrust into such an unfamiliar role. We never lose sight of who Miss Pettigrew actually is because McDormand won't let us. Even though she's wearing an expensive gown and chatting in up in posh establishments, she is still the hopelessly poor, worn out woman who is, quite unhireable. As it turns out Miss Lafosse is living an illusion herself. She transformed her self into a creature who is just as close to toppling over the precipice as Miss Pettigrew. She lives on the money of a rich man and imagines her big break will make her a Hollywood Star. She continuously longs for escape and goes from one delirious encounter to another without taking a moment to stop and suss out what it all means.

Miss Pettigrew is a careful person who doesn't do anything out of order. Nevertheless she is smart enough to enjoy the excesses that her new lifestyle affords her. She stumbles into a strange, utterly new world that bewitches her and allows her the opportunity to simply let events lead where they may without having to necessarily control them. Miss Pettigrew proves apt at helping Miss Lafosse extricate herself from the web in which she finds herself in. Miss Lafosse is careless with love and unable to decide for herself which man she truly wants to be with. Naturally, Miss Pettigrew helps her see clearly which direction she should follow and it's a supreme pleasure to watch these events unfold. One of the grandest aspects of this film is watching obstacles tumble away as the right people find each other at last. Miss Pettigrew is so good at clearing pathways because she herself was the victim on a terrible heartbreak when she was younger. She is a complicated figure and McDormand allows little glimpses through her eyes and facial gestures into the melancholy that Miss Pettigrew carries around with her out of necessity.

Amy Adams is a whirlwind of energetic bursts throughout this film. She is constantly moving from one important event to another. The life of her character is frivolous and playful; she simply possesses a great zeal for lightheaded fun and excitement. Adams is almost supernaturally charming in this film. It's impossible not to fall in love with her despite her fickleness. The film plays against the backdrop of the imminence of WWII. In one scene an air raid goes off forcing everyone in Nick's club to duck for cover. The set designs in the club create an ambiance that serves the picture well. The viewer is carried away on waves of enthusiasm despite the heaviness that everyone is fully cognizant of. This isn't a light film despite the display of gaiety that colours nearly every scene. It is a film that focuses almost entirely on affairs of the heart so it is necessarily complicated. Early on Miss Pettigrew meets a lingerie designer named Joe (Ciar


MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY
Directed by Bharat Nalluri
Stars Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Ciar
Every few years a film comes along that makes you believe in love again. Before this it was The Notebook, Titanic, etc., all the way back to Casablanca and Gone with the Wind. 'Miss Pettigrew' is the newest addition to that list.

In London, between the World Wars, we meet Guinevere Pettigrew: a poor, hungry nanny who can't hold down a job for one reason or another and is thrown out onto the street with no home and nothing but the clothes on her back. After being denied the chance to get another job by the placement agency, Miss Pettigrew steals an open slot to work for the beautiful, ravishing, and, err, popular Delysia Lafosse. It's from here that the 'Day' begins and Miss Pettigrew is thrown into a backwards world of false love, used only to get what you want. After saving Delysia from her confused private life, Guinevere is madeover into a more presentable woman to be around town with Miss Lafosse, keeping Delysia's life situated between the three men in her life: Nick (with the flat), Phil (with the stage), and Michael (with the love).

The film is probably one of the most important romantic comedies I've ever seen, coming at a time when much of the world is facing war themselves. It delivers many powerful messages. . . value each day, love is most important, etc. But, the messages aren't thrown in your face to the point of insult.

I cannot recommend this film enough and if you have the means, be sure to see it. . . and, even better, see it with someone you love.

Final Verdict: 10/10. The film itself is probably a 9/10, but it's the feeling it gave me that raises it to a 10.

"We're going to war, aren't we?"
"Yes we are, and that's why me mustn'twaste a moment of this precious life."
I'm very naughty to have gone out to see a movie given that I'm behind on schoolwork just when I'd hoped to be ahead. Still, when the cinemaphile within me commands, I must go. I kinda wish I'd spent the time on a better film, though.
Miss Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) has just lost another job as a governess due to the clash between her upright ways and her employer's not so upright ways. Out of any prospects, she chooses to steal someone else's interview with a certain Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams). Little does she know that Delysia is a nightclub singer who is seeking to hire a social secretary to help her manage her three boyfriends. Phil (Tom Payne) is the young son of a West End producer who might cast Delysia in his new play, Nick (Mark Strong) is the owner of the club where Delysia performs as well as the flat where she lives, and Michael (Lee Pace, of "Pushing Daisies") is the club's pianist and is most ardently and passionately in love with Delysia. Into all this juggling and constant melodrama unknowingly comes the drab, reserved Miss Pettigrew. As the storyline turns out, she has only one day to make her mark on Delysia's situation, but Miss Pettigrew manages to wield the entire cast of characters very aptly indeed, including a lingerie designer named Joe Blumfield (Ciaran Hinds) and his fiancee Edythe Dubarry (Shirley Henderson). And all things turn out for the best, of course, in the day that Miss Pettigrew lives.
The first thing that strikes me in hindsight - though I never noticed it while watching the film - is that for being such a very English, London-centered film, only the actors playing the two rejected suitors are actually English. Pace, Adams, and McDormand are all American, Hinds is Irish, and Henderson is Scottish. Ah well, a minor point, but merely to say that the accents attempted are not always spot on and can be somewhat distracting.
There's just something missing from this film. I went in with high expectations from the trailer, and parts of it were funny, and parts of it had emotional depth, but it was just too pat and neat and simple. We are literally given only one day in the lives of these individuals, and so lacking most of the backstories, characters become caricatures, emotions become soundbytes, and happy endings become predictabilities. I simply never felt engaged throughout the whole film, though the music was certainly enjoyable and the acting and directing good. There's very little that's original in the writing here and for a film that has WW II as a prominent background setting, this film felt far too modern. I never believed I had been transported back to the 1930s, but rather like I was watching a modern-day fable set in a mystical version of that era.
Overall, sweet and well-acted, but not engaging or satisfying as a comedy or a romance.

Miss Pettigrew is a big mess from beginning to end. Amy Adams and her sighing and squealing and eye batting worked great in a Disney flick but in a big people movie it was painful to watch. I would say it was like watching a fair high school ensemble with the exception of the two "elder" actors Frances M and her love interest in the film. Honestly, I wouldn't even recommend this movie to get on DVD. Don't waste your money.