(2004)

Alan:

Ebert:1/2 Rolling Stone:1/2 TV Guide:1/2


Warning, minor plot points revealed!

Quick Review: I'm not sure why this movie was nominated for Best Picture.  I suppose it's a big period piece about a real life playwright and the Academy likes period pieces and real life stories and ultimately they needed a fifth film to round out the category for this year.  It has all the elements of an Oscar movie but none of the characteristics of a winner.

I don't want to discourage anyone from watching the movie.  Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are great.   It's a well filmed and nice looking tear-jerker.  They're calling the little boy, Freddie Highmore, the next Haley Joel Osment but that's a little more praise than is deserved.  The kid does a fine job but he ain't no Haley Joel.  Maybe more of a Macaulay Culkin.  

The film tells the story of how J.M. Barrie's personal life became intertwined with the family of a sickly widow and her spirited children.  As Barrie's personal relationship with the widow and her children blooms his marriage and career as a playwright begin to wane and deteriorate.  He then uses his newly adopted family as inspiration for his classic tale of Peter Pan.

I liked this movie but it was somewhat mechanical.  The kind of movie you see once, enjoy, and then forget about.  If you can't see all the Oscar nominated films, then this is one that you can skip now and catch later on DVD if you're still interested.