Running Time: 1 hr. 32 min.
Release Date: March 7th, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some partial nudity and innuendo.
Distributors: Focus Features
Directed by: Bharat Nalluri
JJ Rating: BMiss Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a nanny who no one wants. She is fired from the agency she works for, but while there she hears about a job. She steals the address and goes to the home and meets Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams) and then she lives a day she will never forget. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
It had the makings to be great and it just fell a little short. I was not disappointed; I was just not as pleased as I was hoping to be. This is no fault of Frances McDormand, Amy Adams and Lee Pace (who played Michael). They were wonderful. McDormand was a perfect mixture of hesitant and sure of herself. Miss Pettigrew knew what she wanted and knew how to go about it but was unsure of her ability to pull it off. McDormand gave her charm and likability. Adams is bubbly and vivacious and magnetic. Delysia is a character who knew what was right and wrong but was too weak willed. Adams gave her desirability that was not pushy or overwhelming. Pace (from Pushing Daisies a show I am so glad is coming back in the fall and so sad that it’s not going to have any more episode this season) had that good boy look and soft forceful voice that gave his character reserve, pain and creative artistic broken heart. They were the trifecta for this movie. Without one of them Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day would have been ineffectual as a charming film.
This movie has great conversations in it and mainly they involve either McDormand or Adams. Of course there is not a single scene (if I’m not mistaken) without either. When Adams meets McDormand for the first time that conversation is one of the best scenes in the entire movie; it’s fast paced and witty.
The weak moment is the threat scene. Miss Pettigrew is threatened to be outed for who she isn’t. It was just not powerful enough. It was not center-staged for understanding and severity of what it should have been. It sort of was weak and foreshadowed how the characters were going to respond at the end.
The nudity listed in the rating is because they show a male character’s butt. There is a great scene with Adams and a towel. She positions the towel well throughout as she walks around and seemingly teases the camera but never reveals anything. That is far sexier than actually revealing what she’s hiding. It’s also clever and creative and every bit as alluring as one thinks showing it all is.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a simple good movie. It’s not great and it’s far from horrible. It just could have given a bit more to be better, but it’s pleasing. If you are up for a good, simple and semi-clean time you’ll enjoy this film. It’s hard to find a good film during this slow season that seemingly happens prior to the Summer Attack. It won’t be a movie I’ll want to shelf, but it was worth a viewing. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was a simple, good old time.