Movie: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day; Manchurian Candidate

What a SWEET SWEET movie. I don’t know how many people actually saw this movie in the theaters – it was kind of in and out very quickly. I saw the previews on TV and immediately put the movie on my Netflix list. And when I saw that the DVD was finally available I quickly moved it to the top of my list. It is totally worth the rental and I encourage everyone to consider renting it!

From Amazon:

Frances McDormand stars as Miss Pettigrew, whose inability to hold a job in London as a governess compromises her well-being shortly before England’s entry in World War II. Finessing her way into a position as social secretary to a young, American golddigger and singer named Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams), the starving Miss Pettigrew finds herself at the center of a whirlwind that is her new employer’s life.

This movie has a stellar cast in addition to McDormand and Adams. Lee Pace (from “Pushing Daisies”) stars as one of Delysia’s love interests, and the delightfully delicious Ciaran Hinds plays a lingerie designer who is curious about Miss Pettigrew.

The movie takes place all in one day (thus the title), and is so chock-full of entertaining scene after entertaining scene that I was almost tempted to watch it again as soon as the closing credits rolled. McDormand shines as Miss Pettigrew, a woman living in poverty who takes the bull by the horns and goes to a job interview not meant for her. Amy Adams is just as perky and fun as she was in “Enchanted,” but still shows a range of emotion from glee to despondence. Lee Pace – who knew this Oklahoman could do a killer British accent? Ciaran Hinds brings class and style to a role that could have been very “throwaway” since he only has a few scenes.

This is not a “message” movie in any way – it is strictly a someone light-hearted comedy with touches of drama. If you simply want to be carried away for a couple hours on a Friday night – rent this movie!

4 air-raid sirens out of five.

I have never seen the original “Manchurian Candidate.” I’ve seen the last ten minutes, and a few scenes here and there, but that’s about it. A couple years ago I saw about half of the Denzel Washington remake, and was intrigued enough to put it on my Netflix list. It finally came up to the top and was delivered on Friday afternoon.

From Amazon:

Major Ben Marco (Denzel Washington) has been haunted by nightmares ever since a firefight during the first Gulf War–a battle in which he believes he was saved by the heroism of Sgt. Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber). But Marco’s nightmares suggest otherwise and drive him to investigate what happened, which may threaten Shaw’s candidacy for vice-president.

I know that there are camps divided on this remake of the 1960s classic. Those that hate it think that Jonathan Demme took too many liberties with the plot with his updated vision. Then there are those who say this remake is better in that it addresses issues more realistically with regard to corporate America’s infiltration into the backrooms of politicians. I’m firmly in the middle. There were pros to this movie (Meryl Streep as Shaw’s mother chief among them) and cons (the middle of the movie lost its focus a bit).

I think that if one saw this movie without seeing the original or without knowing anything ABOUT the original, then that person would really like this film. For those that saw the original, they’d be ticked off with the changes and would hate this movie. I didn’t love it or hate it. I thought it was a decent remake, but not fabulous. It was certainly more graphic.

3 canoe rides out of five.

My Signature

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