Friday, June 03, 2005

Finding Neverland

Johnny Depp has become my favorite actor out there. He brings his unique charm to every role he plays. I probably wouldn't like his politics too much, but as an admirer of film, I set that aside and just judge him for his work. As for Kate Winslet, always a pleasure to see her in a movie, even though this is only the second one I've seen her in. She reminds me of the more old school actresses, the ones with charm and class, like Audrey Hepburn.

Finding Neverland is about J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. You have probably heard of the Peter Pan Syndrome where the "inflicted" refuses to grow up. Well, Mr. Barrie definitely had it.

He had it because of a life full of unfortunate events. His father died when he was very young and older brother died in the midst of his childhood. After the death of his older brother, his mother had a nervous breakdown, never noticing the young Barrie until he dressed up as his older brother.

Mr. Barrie wrote screenplays with some of them making him wealthy, but none as great as Peter Pan, a play that was revolutionary for its time. That play was so magical that fifty years later, Walt Disney made a movie out of it.

Kate Winslet played the widowed mother of several boys that Barrie met while playing in the park with his dog. Barrie befriended the children and later Winslet's character, all at the expense of his marriage to his wife.

I won't give away more of the plot than that, but I will say that this movie was magical and a must see for those who love fantasy. Barrie loved his Neverland and only wanted to share it with others.

And yes, even though I am the Zombieslayer, my first love in film is the fantasy genre. Zombies are real life, and fantasy for me is escapism, so that's why I prefer fantasy to horror or any other genre. But enough about me. Go see the movie if you have yet to see it. 8 dead zombies out of 10.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked Neverland, and think Johnny Depp is pretty brilliant in everything he does. Have you seen What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
Kate Winslet sort of bums me out, though. Indeed, she is a great actress, subtle, real, mesmorizing. Yet, I've never seen her choose a role where I "like" the character she plays. Her characters always seem slightly snotty and rude. Sense and Sensibility, (loved the movie, but she was the self-centered sister) Titanic, (I so much wished Rose and drowned with Jack, instead of growing into the obnoxious 2,000 year old Rose) Eternal Sunshine (yes, she was quirky and cute, but too blunt) and now Neverland, where, yes she's a sweet mother, but seems totally insensitive to his abandoned wife, or that she may be adding problems to his already screwed up marriage. Sometimes actresses just come across as friendly and likeable in their roles, partly because they choose sweet characters. (Jamie Lee Curtis comes to mind.) I like Winslet's acting so much, I wish she'd choose something where I'd truly like to know her.
Have you read the novel Peter Pan? I read it to my kids years ago, and we loved it. We love how Cpt. Hook is always concerned about "form".
I loathed the Peter Pan movie from a couple of years ago. Over affected and boring. Did you know the same actor is always cast onstage for the father and Hook? Pretty phsycological. And for whatever reason, Pan is always played by a woman. That really bothers my daughters. They can't get past that.

6/03/2005 10:05 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

I thought about seeing it but it wasn't up my alley. I can't wait for Charlie and the Choclate Factory to come out in July! Johnny Depp looks like he steals the show in that movie plus its Tim Burton's take on the classic movie/book.

6/03/2005 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Michele said...

by the way, ZS, I'm anonymous on this post and on your dream post. I don't mean to sign that way, I'm proud of my comments.

6/03/2005 10:28 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I loved Finding Neverland. It was strange the way Depp weaved in and out of his accent, but it's hard to find actors that can nail an accent for an entire film.
I totally disagree with Michele about Kate Winslet. I think she's ultra-talented in a market of over-hollywoodized, glitzy, one-dimensional actresses.
Notice how Michele singles out each character in the movies Winslet starred in and each one is completely different? Sense and Sensibility she played her role as the the self-centered sister with ease and grace and didn't overplay the role.
I did find her rather annoying in Titanic. If you watch the movie again, notice how many lines she says that start off with "Jack".
She was awesome in Eternal Sunshine and yes, she was blunt, but that was the character she was playing and so much different than her other characters she has played.
In Finding Neverland, I think she came across as a loving mother who feared losing her control in parenting her children. She might have lacked a concern for Barrie and his wife's marital issues, but she was just so thrilled to have this male role model for her boys. Besides, it's not like Barrie ever spoke of his marital issues.
I loved all the performances and was delighted that finally there is a movie with children in it where we don't have to swoon over how cute they are. They stood on their own as actors; not puppets.

6/03/2005 11:55 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I loved Neverland. It made me cry. That is very rare for me to cry at a movie, I'm normally not succeptible to that. Depp is one of the most versatile actors out there now, up there with Gary Oldman. And let's be honest, he's really nice to look at too. Can't wait for Willy Wonka.

6/03/2005 12:38 PM  
Blogger Slade said...

I just posted Johnny Depp on my top 5 list (see blog for clarification)...he is one of my fav actors too...and I love Kate W. She is what I call a natural woman--doesn't need to be stick thin to make it on screen...just beautiful. The new Peter Pan was pretty good and I LOVE Hook! I'll have to watch Finding Neverland, been wanting to see it.

6/03/2005 3:43 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Hook, is my favorite Peter Pan film. My second choice is the Mary Martin stage version of Peter Pan. (I'm really dating myself here.)

6/03/2005 4:18 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Here's how big a dork I am... I not only read 'Peter Pan', but also 'The Little Minister,' 'Auld Licht Idylls', and my favorite, his ode to tobacco... 'My Lady Nicotine.'

It's strange how he wrote so much, yet is really only remembered today for 'Peter Pan.' And that's mostly because of 'Finding Neverland.'

That said... Johnny Depp rocks. You just know that he'll never let himself be taken by Zombies. He'll likely take more than a few of them out too.

6/03/2005 7:26 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Wow ZS, nice write up.

When and if I ever grow up, I want to be like you.

Well, with some obvious physical


6/03/2005 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Malcolm 28 said...

bidget you 53 year old irish mick you have already passed the growing up stage and are now franticly searching for that last lustful encounter before clicking on to your Use By Date which aint far off, the pork sword is out there, doll yourself up and get your share, secretly most of these whineing nellies on this blog are getting plenty but dont brag about it, I even made it with two christian church ladies who are still preaching monogamy. "Hi there Agness Bell & Laura Withers, remember me Malcolm" I bet they do. laura in fact was my favorite bedroom jockey. P S.I am seriously into Wobbly sucking , The chicks love it

6/03/2005 9:51 PM  
Blogger Vest said...

tshsmom: I'll Guess You would be a gorgeous 48 year old.

6/04/2005 2:57 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Very close. How 'bout 49 and ordinary looking?

6/04/2005 4:21 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I agree -- great film, and a bit unfairly derided by soulless critics as not matching up to the other Best Pic noms at the Oscars this year. As if sentimentality is passe'...

6/05/2005 10:44 AM  

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