Academy Award® nominee Amy Adams (Enchanted) and Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand star in this charming comedy about finding a new life and a new love, all in one day. When Miss Pettigrew (McDormand) stumbles upon the chance to become the new "social secretary" to glamorous high-society singer and actress Delysia Lafosse (Adams), she seizes the opportunity despite being totally out of her element. Swept up into the glamorous whirl of high society, it’s all Miss Pettigrew can do to keep up with Delysia as she juggles her lovelife and career in this “delightful champagne cocktail of a comedy!”
Ever since the day we saw Amy Adams’ performance in Enchanted (2007), we cannot get that sweet princess image out of our mind. You see, she played a princess who crossed over from an animated land to the real world. She even breaks into a lovely song once in a while. And that is why, when we see the Oscar nominee (Junebug, Doubt) playing a singer seeking a West End role, we were half expecting her to perform a song and dance sequence like a Disney princess.
But the show does not belong to her alone in this movie which missed a theatrical release here. The stage is shared by Oscar winner Frances McDormand (Fargo) in this charming comedy (she even manages to have the movie named after her character in the movie), and both ladies show what it means to bring screen presence to a simple story.
McDormand plays Miss Pettigrew, a penniless governess during the war plagued London. She manages to land herself a job as an aspiring actress singer’s social secretary. Now, this glamourous lady is eyeing a West End role, and she is surrounded by an incompetent producer, an untrustworthy nightclub owner and a loving piano player. With these men circling her employer, Miss Pettigrew’s job is to make sure that the West End role is nabbed. All these and more await Miss Pettigrew who has to find balance between love and career.
What’s a woman to do in such times, we hear you say.
Thankfully, it’s McDormand who is taking on the role of this multi tasking character. She effortlessly brings Miss Pettigrew to life with her delightful chirpiness. You see her flit from place to place in this period comedy, and you wish you had the same amount of energy as Miss Pettigrew. Not to be outdone is Adams who plays the pleasing and lovely actress singer Delysia Lafosse (love the exquisiteness of the name, by the way). And yes, you can expect a song sequence which showcases Adams’ nice vocals. The cast is rounded up by lesser known but equally competent actors like Lee Pace (The Good Shepard), Ciaran Hinds (There Will Be Blood) and Shirley Henderson (Wild Child).
Indian director Bharat Nalluri (The Crow: Salvation) manages to create a visually pleasant set of the bygone era in this movie without having to resort to expensive gimmicks like extravagant costumes and props. More importantly, when it comes to engaging viewers, he knows what his cast is capable of. And what we get are 92 very enjoyable minutes from start to end.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains a Feature Commentary with Director Bharat Nalluri where you’ll hear about the “fun” process making the film. It took a year to finish the movie and lots of collaboration to build those authentic sets. There are nine minutes of Deleted Scenes, including a much longer opening sequence showing how Miss Pettigrew got retrenched, and a lot more of the lovely interior designs of that bygone era. Miss Pettigrew’s Long Trip to Hollywood is an eight minute clip which chronicles how the book found its way to the big screen. Hear from the Winifred Watson’s (the author) son, the cast and crew to realize how it almost took shape as a musical in 1930s to what it finally is today.
The disc’s visual transfer enhances the look of London, and the movie is presented in its original English dialogue.
by John Li