Special Cinema Spotlight: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008)


Brilliant. Perfect. Solid. Can Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008) be anything less. It isn't.

I rarely declare a film to be near perfection or perfect and I cannot say many modern ones are. But this one is very near perfection. Just one thing sort of stood out to me that I found distracted me a bit while following the story line but I will share that with you in a bit.

The film is based on a novel by the same name written by Winifred Watson in 1938. Originally it was intended to be a film in 1941 starring Billie Burke but it got shelved due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Instead, the film version came out in 2008 starring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams. I hear the film is very different from the book (as is in most cases) but that the differences allow the main characters to shine brighter.

Miss Pettigrew is a middle aged woman who isn't very good at being a nanny. This is during the Great Depression so having employment is key to survival for everyone. Pettigrew finds herself unemployed and on a soup kitchen line. Because of this desperation, this straight-laced woman decides to lie and finds herself at the home of one Delysia Lafosse (Adams).

Before she realizes what she got herself into she is juggling not children but three of Delysia's lovers, her career, and all the while trying to get a good meal. Poor Miss Pettigrew just didn't get a chance to sit and eat since she got sacked! That's the kind of day she was having. You know, the kind when nothing seems to go right yet everything ends up so good at the end.

Watching Miss Pettigrew and Delysia's relationship blossom in just a matter of one day was very believable. I understood Miss Pettigrew's yearning for a proper order of things and a life filled with love. I think she sees in Delysia's all the opportunities she wished she had and how easily Delysia could live a life that is void of love.

Miss Pettigrew doesn't end up being a nanny again but takes on the task of being Delysia's social secretary under the guise that her former employer sent her. Although the job was based on lies, truth surrounds both main characters throughout the film. It just takes the right twists and turns to finally get to it.

I won't share anymore because I want you to go straight to your Netflix or Amazon sites and watch this film. It will charm you and delight you and keep you glued to your set the entire time.

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day
Amy Adams
Lee Pace
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day

The sets, the costumes, the music...the moments of heartfelt human connection. This film is a "must see" and a "must own"!

The one part that I found that distracted me was actually Amy Adams. She was in her early 30's I believe when making this film but she looked older  in many scenes. Although she acted bubbly and spritely, I found it to be too extreme when I paired her expressions with her face. She looked tired and older than I thought the character should be, although I found her performance to be delightful. I am not saying she couldn't handle the role because she really, really could, but that I felt a disconnection between what she looked like in some scenes and how she behaved.

I hope I just made sense. I am not against Adams or any woman getting older at all. Just as a film fan I do appreciate to see the whole package when I am trying to believe a character.

All in all, this film seriously is divine and it is most definitely on my list of "must own" dvds to add to my collection!

Have you seen this film? What were your likes and dislikes? Have you read the book yet? Let me know!

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  1. The book is worth reading, but I do love the movie more. I absolutely fell in love with fat, old Ciaran Hinds, which shows what a great actor he is-- I'd have run off with him, for sure, and there are a lot more physically attractive, closer-to-my-age actors in this movie.

  2. I LOVE this movie, but I haven't re-watched it in ages...thanks for the inspiration! :)

  3. I adore this movie! :) I want everything Delysia wears!

  4. I've read the book a few times (and would recommend it), but I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the movie because I enjoyed the book so much. As silly as this might seem, I'd love to see them make an animated movie version to look like the book illustrations.

  5. I must . I need to see this film !
    Love from Paris,


  6. I absolutely love this film! The set design, the costumes, everything is exquisite!!! Not to mention a good dose of comedy mingled with heart. And Lee Pace? Lee Pace as a pianist? Lee Pace as a British pianist? What more could you ask for?! ;-)

  7. AnonymousJune 18, 2014

    I saw this in one of the older movie theaters near by when it came out. I bought the DVD as soon as I could. Lovely, lovely movie.


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