A sick day, at home from work, calls for a movie. My most recent pick from Netflix was Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day. Written in 1938 by Winifred Watson, the movie is adapted from the novel by the same name. At 29 years of age, Pettigrew was Watson's third novel. Her publishers rejected it. They felt the themes were too racy for the late thirties. All of Watson's novels dealt with the theme of women having second chances with special emphasis to the fact that women were struggling for survival in a patriarchal world. And as her son, Keith Pickering, discloses in the extras, his mother absolutely refused to write a book without a happy ending. Finally, the book was published. It took three attempts through many years to get the movie produced.
Playing a role like nothing I've ever seen her in ever before, Frances McDormand plays Guinevere Pettigrew. I've been watching McDormand since her Cagney and Lacey days and I've never seen her play a hesitant, docile role as she plays in Pettigrew. A far cry from her role as Sister James in Doubt, is Amy Adam's portrayal of Delysia Lafosse, a woman who uses her beguiling ways to entice men in order to get what she wants - fame and fortune. It becomes a game of whose using whom?
Set in London in 1939, the movie differs from the book with the threat of war. Pettigrew encourages Lafosse to realize that life is short. Lafosse and Pettigrew's paths cross due to Lafosse's concern of appearances and what others think of her. Because others have a social secretary, so must she.
I was intrigued to learn that Amy Adam's sings If I Didn't Care, herself. Her voice is warm and controlled. While researching the movie for this entry, I learned that If I Didn't Care was an international hit by the Ink Spots. The Ink Spots was a four man African American group hailing from Indianapolis, IN.
Tell me that I'm not the only person who thinks Amy Adams is simply adorable. Her character in Pettigrew is energetic, gasping and squealing appropriately. She looks to Pettigrew as a mother figure and as girls often do, falls in love with Pettigrew rather quickly.
Whether you are home sniffling and coughing or just want a delightfully, happy film to watch, Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day is the film to watch.