May 2nd, 2005


Finding Johnny Depp

Just watched Finding Neverland and once again am in awe of Johnny Depp. He is soooo good at Being Someone Else. I watched last year's Academy Awards, I should have remembered he was nominated for this part, but had completely forgotten. Through the whole flick I kept wondering who that was playing Barrie, and I was so surprised when I saw the credits.

And my hat's off to director Marc Forster as well. Monster's Ball was not just luck, after all. Dustin Hoffman for a change played a character instead of playing Dustin Hoffman Playing A Character, and Kate Winslet almost achieved Real Acting, as opposed to Token Eye Candy With Big Tits. Julie Christie surpassed herself as well. Radha Mitchell was an excellent choice for Mrs. Barrie -- low key but effective -- even to the final showdown scene.

Nutshell synopsis, this is the mostly true story of how J.M. Barrie came to write the play Peter Pan. He virtually abandons his wife to become the friend of a beautiful neighbor and her four young boys. In the movie, she's a widow, in real life she was still married, though her husband was deathly ill. This movie would have worked either way.

Whatever. An excellent film superbly acted and directed, wonderful cinematography, great costuming and the theater scenes were a joy to watch. And one of the finest samples of set dressing I have ever seen.

Ironic, the only Oscar the movie won was for musical score. I didn't think the music was that outstanding. In fact, the way the audio was mixed on the DVD, I had to turn on subtitles because it often drowned out dialog. But I blame that on mixing, since even without the music, I couldn't always hear the ends of sentences. I enjoyed this movie very much.

For those of us who have been in a production of Peter Pan, this lends a lot of insight into how it all came about, and why the boys seem so real.
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