This week’s overlooked selection is a film I have only recently had the pleasure of seeing, and am all the happier for the experience. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a “classic Hollywood-styled” romantic comedy directed by British television/film director Bharat Nalluri. The story is based on a 1938 novel of the same name and adapted for the screen by co-writers by David Magee (Life of Pi) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, The Full Monty).
As I mentioned above, Miss Pettigrew is a charming film that harkens to cinema of a bygone era. I instantly think about Frank Capra’s Lady for a Day and its “remake” Pocketful of Miracles (the latter starring Bette Davis), where the audience sees the transformation of a down and out middle-aged woman.
While the circumstances and particulars are slightly different (here the titular Miss Pettigrew is a down on her luck English nanny who mistakenly is assigned a new “charge” in the form of American entertainer Delysia Lafosse), but the end results are the same. One of the things that make Miss Pettrigrew stand out is its talented cast, headed by the wonderful Frances McDormand (Miss Pettigrew) and Amy Adams (Delysia Lafosse). The supporting cast includes Lee Pace (a slight revelation for me here), Shirley Henderson, Ciaran Hinds and Mark Strong.
As a fan of classic and contemporary cinema, I constantly ask myself how successfully a film’s time and place can be replicated without coming across as too forced, anachronistic or lacking in charm. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day does not suffer from any of these issues in my opinion. It was obviously made by someone who understands the genre that charmed audiences in the 1930s and 1940s.
Check out Miss Pettigrew‘s Photo Gallery below:
Be sure to take a look at some other cinematic highlights for the week on Todd Mason’s blog Sweet Freedom.