JT Film Review

12 – Finding Neverland (2004)

Finding Neverland REVIEW

3.5/5 stars

Director – Marc Forster

Cast – Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Dustin Hoffman, Freddie Highmore

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findingneverland

Finding Neverland follows J. M. Barrie ( played by Johnny Depp), the author of Peter Pan, in his relationship with a fatherless family of boys, which gives him the inspiration to write his most famous work.  Now if the events and conflicts in the movie had actually happened, the movie would have a bit more credibility. Now I am not a stickler for historical accuracy in moves,  but this movie really takes liberities. It removes characters, adds conflicts where there were none, and generally does what it wants just to add emotional punch (and at times, rather contrived emotional punch at that).

However, if you were to look at the movie as just that, a movie, without delving into the historical background, it will not in the most part findingneverland6dissapoint. Johnny Depp is great (as always) and he definitely creates a distinct character. Dustin Hoffman plays the role of Barrie’s producer with calmness and proffesionalism, also creating a distinct character. The standout performance however, belongs to Freddie Highmore. In his breakout performance he is responsible for most of the dramatic wieght in the story; and it is an amazing performance, doubly so because of his young age. He went on to star (recommended by Depp) in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has since starred in many movies (of varying quality, to be sure), and has made quite a name for himself.

findingneverland5The movie has many good parts and a few bad parts. The biggest problem is the rather heavy- handed treatment of the emotional points, and an unbelievable character transformation near the end of the movie rubbed me the wrong way. However, the performances are excellent, and the movie has a fair degree of charm and magic. One sequence has Barrie and his wife going to bed in seperate rooms; she goes into her room and shuts the door, but when Barrie opens his door we see a brief glance of (as he sees it) a fairytale world of green valleys and misty forests. It is a surprisingly touching scene.

OVERALL

Finding Neverland is a decent movie; magical at times, a tad manipulative at others. It’s worth a watch for the performances and charm. A good all-round family movie.

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TRAILER

“Finding Neverland” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia

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June 21, 2009 - Posted by | 3.5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Family, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , ,

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