Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Finding Neverland also known as “J.M. Barrie’s Neverland”

MPAA Rating: PG for mild thematic elements and brief language

Reviewed by: Lucy Pinnington
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Family
Genre:
Drama, Biography, Historical
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
September 4, 2004 (festival)
November 12, 2004 (limited)
November 24, 2004 (wide)
Copyright, Miramax Films
Copyright, Miramax Films
Copyright, Miramax Films
Copyright, Miramax Films
Copyright, Miramax Films
Copyright, Miramax Films
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Featuring: Johnny DeppSir James Matthew Barrie
Kate WinsletSylvia Llewelyn Davies
Radha MitchellMary Ansell Barrie
Dustin HoffmanCharles Frohman
Julie Christie … Mrs. Emma du Maurier
Freddie HighmorePeter Llewelyn Davies
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Director: Marc Forster
Producer: Nellie Bellflower, Richard N. Gladstein
Distributor: Miramax Films

“Unlock your imagination”

“Finding Neverland” is a beautiful and moving story of a man who didn’t want to grow up and famously created the myth of Peter Pan, a boy who never grew up, immortalizing that precious stage of boyhood. The film is based on events surrounding the writing of Sir J. M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan” and its opening night in 1904.

Struggling with a cold and apparently unloving marriage as well as a career which shows distinct signs of flagging, James Barrie is drawn into a friendship with a family of four charming little boys and their beautiful mother. The Llewelyn Davies boys are also trying to come to terms with the death of their young father, and “Uncle Jim” soon becomes an important part of their family, restoring laughter and delight to their lives.

The idyllic summer that Barrie shares with the family fires in his imagination the plot and themes for his new, ground-breaking play “Peter Pan.” The audience gains fascinating glimpses into the creation of a script and the staging of a play, and we see how Barrie twists fact into fiction as he shapes his story and shares his childhood fantasy of Neverland first with Sylvia and her sons, and then with the world. Just as the story of Peter Pan is bitter-sweet, so Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies family discover that pretending does not make life easy, simple or safe.

While this film is rated PG, I would not be comfortable taking children below the age of about 12 to watch it. There is one outburst of mild swearing when Barrie is anxiously watching the audience’s frosty reception of his play “Little Mary,” but this comes right at the start of the film and could easily be missed. The themes of the movie, however, are adult: love and loss. Children and adults must cope with bereavement and do so in unpredictable ways; some of the strange, sudden transitions from “real-life” to fantasy might upset younger children (and these elements of magic realism also have an adverse impact on the believability of the film for more mature viewers). The adult emotions are complicated and often raw.

The scene play by David Magee allows the actors and actresses to show that emotions, motivations, and personalities are complex and subtle. Julie Christie plays Sylvia’s mother, Emma du Maurier, and while she is a nag—and we see Barrie transform her into Captain Hook in his imagination—ultimately she is a sympathetic character and all her actions are understandable: there are no villains in this piece.

The cinematography is beautiful: the film glows in a golden haze of Edwardian beauty, and the costumes and scenery just add to the charm and completeness of the world conjured up by director, Marc Forster.

The acting is excellent. Among the children, Freddie Highmore who plays young Peter Llewelyn Davies, is outstanding and acts his little heart out in a most affecting way. Depp’s portrayal of Barrie is sensitive and deceptively simple, portraying an essentially lonely man of whom his friend George Bernard Shaw wrote “for all his playfulness, he had hell in his soul.” Kate Winslet’s convincing Sylvia radiates strength as well as charm and beauty. Radha Mitchell who plays Mary Barrie renders perfectly the disappointed wife seeking for what she has lost. Dustin Hoffman and the many British actors who take cameos make watching the film a wonderful excuse for whispering “Oh look, it’s him!” to one’s neighbor.

From a Christian perspective, Barrie’s feelings for the widowed Sylvia might seem to be a case of committing adultery in one’s heart. Yet, it seems as if the childless and unhappy Barrie is more in love with the whole family than merely with the mother. One is left with the impression that whatever love lay between Sylvia and Barrie was the same sort of love Wendy had for Peter Pan, and there is nothing to raise a blush: even when Barrie visits her bedroom, it is to see her on her sick bed. The awful disintegration of the Barrie marriage is seen to be a shared responsibility, no doubt complicated by James’ committment to the Llewelyn Davies family, and a Christian viewer cannot help thinking that if only one of them had been strong enough to decide to love and serve the other in a truly Biblical way, either James or Mary could have saved and transformed their marriage. In reality, the Barrie’s marriage did end after Mary’s adultery, but it seems to have been an unhappy relationship from the start.

There was gossip in Barrie’s lifetime which is reflected in a delicately worded conversation in the film that “Uncle Jim’s” affection for the boys was unwholesome; but the film rejects this, indicating it was the very innocence of the children which made them perfect playmates for Barrie; the real Llewelyn Davies boys also repudiated similar slurs after Barrie’s death. This movie makes clear how much Barrie loved children: he is able to enter into the boys’ world and to play with them almost as a peer, and he keeps 25 seats free on the opening night of Peter Pan for the local orphanage to send a party of children: this reflects the true personality of the man who gifted the rights of Peter Pan, and the wealth they bring in, to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children.

The imperfect nature of human love is also made clear in “Finding Neverland.” Not only do James and Mary fail to love one another in a complete and unselfish way, but we see that James’ love for the fatherless family is not completely altruistic, and, that, though he wishes for nothing but their good, his well-meaning involvement in their lives makes them victims of gossip and shunning. Even mother-love is shown to be flawed: a mother can harm her children by trying to protect them from truth, and similarly a mother can hurt her daughter by only seeking her best interests. While none of the characters appear to appreciate this, it is only Christ’s perfect and healing love which can be fully depended on and trusted.

Any reference to Christian hope and eternal security is completely missing from this film. For Barrie and his friends, “finding Neverland” is a metaphor for death and the after-life. We see a character make that journey to the grief of those left behind, and true comfort is completely absent as a child is assured that those who die can be found “on every page of your imagination.” It is tragic to think that the characters in the film believe that a made-up land full of fairies, mermaids, pirates, redskins, a clock-swallowing crocodile and a hoard of Lost Boys is the happiest and best destination after death.

Neverland is a happy place to imaginatively spend a summer afternoon, but it is not substitute for the bliss and joy of being in God’s presence in Heaven or the certainty of a bodily resurrection and an eternity in the New Earth the Bible promises. In a film where the boundary between make-believe and real-life is a central theme, it is sad and unsatisfying that the final reality of death and parting are shrouded in “let’s pretend” nonsense.

This is a film I want to watch again, and which we will add to our DVD collection. It made me laugh and it made me cry my eyes out—and even my husband was seen to covertly employ a handkerchief. While not a Christian film, it is one of the least objectionable films we have seen in a long time, and, despite its PG rating, is a movie which should be enjoyed on a deep and satisfying level by adult audiences. It is also a stunningly beautiful movie, evocative of that golden and long-disappeared Edwardian age and the golden and sadly fleeting days of childhood.

Violence: None / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—Although the title of this movie might conjure images of Michael Jackson, it is nothing even close to MJ’s ranch. It a sweet, gentle, and moving film that made we want to be a little kid again (or even more.) I was so happy that Barrie was not portrayed as a pedophile as well. Although it does not adopt a Christian perspective, it can bring up good discussion: the whole “never grow up thing” is exactly, in my opinion, what Jesus was talking about when he told us to have a childlike faith.

We can learn a lot from children; imagination, their love, and their not caring what the rest of the world thinks. From a secular perspective, the movie was excellent. The acting was simply amazing-I loved the little kids! Johnny Depp here was the polar opposite of his character in Pirates-showing his incredible range and talent. His accent was great-one could not tell that he is an American.

I even cried, and so did my tough guy friend. We bawled like little babies and it was so embarrassing but fun at the same time. This movie will make you laugh, cry, and imagine at the same time! I do not recommend this to kids-it would simply be boring, except for a few scenes.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Sarah, age 18
Positive—I was extremely impressed with Johnny Depp’s performance in Pirates of the Caribbean, and because of this, I was greatly anticipating Finding Neverland. I was not disappointed! In my opinion, this is one of the better films I have seen this year. The performances by Depp, Kate Winslet and Freddie Highmore (Peter) are brilliant, and (I feel) are deserving of Oscar nominations.

I have to agree with the reviewer that this isn’t a film meant for children. When I read the review before seeing the film, I was taken aback at the suggestion that children under twelve not be taken to see Finding Neverland (it is a film about Peter Pan after all!), but after seeing the film, I agree, mainly because I think that younger audiences would find the film boring and too slow.(There are also a few “thematic” elements. These, however, will not be noticed by many audience members and in my opinion, are not a reason for concern).

In response to Barrie’s philosophy that when people die they go to Neverland: I did not feel that this is entirely what he was saying. Rather, I think that Barrie was trying to convey the fact that memories last forever and that you can relive moments passed in your imagination. This was a slower-paced movie, so don’t be expecting rip-roaring action-there isn’t any per se. I would highly recommend this film!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Ellen, age 28
Positive—I think the main review for this film mistakes several elements of this film for things they are not. For example, the transitions from reality to fantasy transpire in the imagination of their inventor: the protagonist of the movie. It is the world as he would see it. He has not really led the boys’ mother into Neverland, but he imagines this transition. Thus people lost to us are “on every page of [our] imagination.” This is not a klutzy method in incapable hands, but a tool to get at meaning: memory and imagination are a means of creating an Elysium for oneself and others.

Death, the great enemy, is inescapable. One woman noted that the ticking crocodile is after all of us. If we draw the connection to leviathan and thus to chaos, the crocodile becomes a destructive, all consuming void. Neverland is not heaven, but it is a provisory heaven on Earth, only solopsistic, remaining in the mind.

It is an Eden sank to grief that its creator is attempting to maintain. Neverland is the unattainable goal, much like Utopia meaning nowhere. The emphasis here is placed on time over place. It is a poor substitute for paradise, but the author of this place is fully aware of this. It is tragic, not because he believes it is a substitution for heaven, but because there isn’t one in his opinion. See this film. It is an important barometer of our culture: one that is searching for, but not finding, Neverland.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Pete, age 22
Positive—If you are unfamiliar with Peter Pan, perhaps you should view one of the many films that have been made telling the colorful and imaginative story. That will make “Finding Neverland” all the more enjoyable. However, assuming most people are well aware of “Peter Pan,” “Finding Neverland” is a real treat. The most touching thing about Neverland is finding inspiration. As a writer, Barrie (Depp) uses all points of his life to draw inspiration for his works. After his latest is a flop, just as is his marriage, he wants to start anew. He doesn’t give up and wants to see himself flourish, despite what his wife (Mitchell) or theater producer (Hoffman) might think.

He is reminded of the creative spirit of youth when he meets Sylvia’s, a young widow, (Winslet) boys. As he becomes an increasing part of their lives he formulates the characters and ideas that we now know as “Peter Pan.” “Neverland” is one of those special movies where you leave feeling inspired, just as Barrie was by others. Its heartfelt message to always look for inspiration is a refreshing change from so many films that seem recycled. I’m not sure how factual Barrie’s story was represented here, but the events that transpire throughout the film are as touching as they are fun to watch. This film is likely to bore most children except for some of the “magic” scenes, despite its subject matter and is meant for older teens and up.

On a side note, a negative interpretation that some may develop of this film’s premise is the appropriateness of the relationship between Barrie and Sylvia’s boys. It is mentioned in the film very subtly and an insulted Barrie denies the accusation. To clarify, this film supports that Barrie’s involvement in the childrens’ lives was that of a father figure. Lastly and somewhat disappointingly was the lack of interest Barrie and his wife shared for eachother. Yes, she is shrewish and arrogant and the plot device is used to further approve of Barrie’s absence from his home, but it was upsetting that the two never tried to work on their marriage.

To some, this may present the view that it is ok to just give up on something, if it isn’t perfect. However, these side notes do not affect one from enjoying this well acted, well directed and visually pleasing film.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Charles, age 20
Positive—This is hands down the best movie of the year for me. I highly recommend it to everyone. There were small children in the theater when I saw it today, and they were delighted with the scenes of “flying” in the stage play depicting Peter Pan and Neverland. The only non-Christian element that disturbed me a little bit was the reference to believing in fairies, although the explanation of what a fairie is was quite charming -- when a new-born baby laughs, its laugh splits into many pieces, and those are fairies.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
Halyna Barannik, age 58
Positive—I dragged my little brothers and sisters, along with my best guy friend, to see this movie. My friend thought the movie would be terrible. We were all very pleasantly surprised! I knew I would like the movie, but I didn’t know I’d like it this much! We all found ourselves chuckling and crying, at respective times. My siblings are from six to thirteen and all of them thoroughly enjoyed the movie, laughed and felt sad too. There was only one stretch of the movie when the six-year-old was slightly bored. I don’t agree that children won’t like this movie; it has enough children in it to hold interest.

My friend and I agree that the JM Barrie character, while most likely not a Christian, displayed many Christian values and attributes. He was kind to others, gave freely, did not pretend to be someone he wasn’t, and never looked for something in return. His relationship with Sylvia was shown to be innocent. As an author, I was amazed at how Johnny Depp was able to protray us—I kept being shocked at things he would say or do… things I’d only thought real authors would know about. He certainly did his homework. His accent was right-on and amazing also, very charming and never overdone.

Mr. Depp gave one of his best performances of all time in this movie, and I can’t wait to see this movie again. I WOULD suggest this movie for the whole family!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Kackie, age 18
Neutral
Neutral—“Finding Neverland” is a “pretty” movie, just not necessarily a “happy” one. While it is very enjoyable to watch, the emotions behind the story are ones of sadness mingled with child-like hope. Though about children, this movie is not for them. A traumatic accident involving a child would be too scary for most children and the main story would probably be over their heads. However, an edited version showing Mr. Barrie and the children playing would be enjoyed by the younger set. Morally this movie had some issues that either weren’t dealt with or were excused. Barrie’s marriage is an unhappy one; it is therefore “alright” that he spends his time with anther woman and her sons. Martial infidelity is not necessarily physical, but can be emotional-one can be unfaithful by spending time and energy on someone that is not their wife.

As a Christian, I cringed when Barrie told a boy that someone that had died was now in “Neverland.” But, as “Neverland” is your imagination someone that has passed away can “live” in your imagination. Still, I don’t really think that that’s what he meant. Overall, I think it is a clean movie with issues that shouldn’t be a problem for adults.
My Ratings: [Average/4]
—Elizabeth, age 19
Neutral—The movie was good. But I wouldn’t watch it again in a year. Best morality, in Christian point of view, was in almost the end of the movie. An old lady told James Barrie that her husband had died. And that this husband was a boy in the end. Could this be the way how we should live too? We will never know.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Maria, age 24 (Finland)
Negative
Negative—I agree with C. Will, this film came so close to telling the Gospel story. Also it put in a positive light a married man loved anther women, not someone a Christian should call a hero. I don’t think the idea of thinking back to a happy place in the past is batter than looking to the future and Heaven like this movie and other people say. Finding hope in Jesus, God’s love and Heaven is better than anything in the past or you can think of in your imagination, something Neverland says not a thing about. And, I mean this as a rebuke, just because most movies these days don’t honor God doesn’t mean we Christians can accept that.

The Bible says in Philippians 4:8, if there be any praise (of God), think on these things. Also, what has Peter Pan don for this world? Not a thing. What has Jesus don for this world? Every thing you can think of. A film that glorifies Peter Pan and doesn’t even declare Christ or God is one that I can’t root for. Also, in real life Barrie was in love with the boy’s mother even before her husband died. Yuck! I DON’T recommend this film.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/4½]
—Very Concerned Young Man, age 18
Comments from young people
Neutral—I do not know much about J.M. Barrie, but if this movie portrayed him accurately, he was an unfaithful, odd person. Johnny Depp did a good job portraying Mr. Barrie. I have to admit that I felt sorry for Mrs. Barrie. She was pushed aside, for another woman and another family. This movie has some dialogue and settings that are rather offensive. Not explicit, but they give you a hint of immorality. There are also some things that Johnny Depp says about death. (“She’s in Neverland, and you can see her anytime you want.” or something to that effect.)

I wouldn’t show this movie to children. In fact, don’t watch it at all! It’s not worth it. It’s off-the-wall, (from what I hear, pretty faithful to what J.M. Barrie was like in real life!) and a waste of time. Rather interesting, but there are lots of other cleaner, and more sensible movies to watch!
My Ratings: [Average/2½]
—Stephanie, age 13
Positive—This film was excellent!!! I thought that this movie was the best. It was very good acting! I would recommend this movie for children over 10 years old because that they might not get the plot or may get bored. I definitely didn’t! This movie left you teary eyed and was very touching! I don’t think there was one dry eye in the theatre. I heard everyone sniffling and saw people wiping their eyes from tears. It is a very wonderful movie. I would definitely see it again!!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—D, age 13
PositiveJohnny Depp really is excellent. This is a beautifully done movie which I could watch again and again.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Mariette, age 14
Positive—This movie was so cute! I loved it. I’m not too big of a fan of Johnny Depp, but he did an excellent job in this movie. This movie has a good meaning to it. I loved it!
My Ratings: [Excellent!/4½]
—Britney
Positive—This was absolutely amazing! Acting was great, screenplay was awesome, people were great! Freddie Highmore was awesome, no wonder Johnny D recommended him as Charlie Bucket in Willie Wonka! It was a bit like “National Treasure”—not like plot or anything, but the way it was made. It doesn’t have anything offensive, there is barely any language (I didn’t even know there was till I read the review!), and, all though Barrie spends more time with a group of boys and their mother than his wife, it’s very explainable. Johnny and Kate were great, and the kids were too—they really need to give the kid that played George a bit more credit!

I’ll admit that at the end, when Barrie and Peter are discussing death, there is a bit suggestion that Neverland replaces Heaven, but I don’t think that’s what Barrie meant. What he meant was that you can keep someone alive in their memories, and he thought the best way to describe that to a little boy was through Neverland. I especially liked how Barrie could bring stuff from real life to the story—such as the idea for Hook from the grandmother when she was telling the boys they weren’t going out the next day, or the way that he named several characters after real people, like Peter as Peter Pan, George [one of the boys] as Wendy’s father, Michael and John [two other brothers] as Wendy’s brothers, and so on.

I disagree, however, with the review writer: only teenagers and adults should see this. I’m eleven, and I saw nine year olds see this and they loved it. I didn’t cry when I saw it—I don’t cry much at all, really - but many others did, and I have to admit that they had a reason to.

Anyway, I think it was a really great film and that everyone should see. It warms your heart and really gets you to thinking, not to mention it tells a wonderful story. Hats off to Johnny and Kate and the boys and, well, all actors and actresses (I enjoyed Angus Barnett, even though his part was small). Full marks!
My Ratings: [Excellent/5]
—Cassie B, age 11
Positive—Finding Neverland in my opinion is one of the best movies in the the theater. I loved it! And I very much enjoyed that throughout the movie it shows that Johnny Depp is NOT at ALL in love with the mother, it is only a friendship and he stays completely faithful to his wife. Although he is a bit strange and it doesn’t exactly work out between he and his wife, it is not at all because of the mom, great film, I highly recommend it for parents and their teenagers.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Sarah, age 14
Positive—This film was one of the most heartwarming movies I have seen in ages. The whole plot idea and set was inspirational in all stand points. It shows in a way that adults can still have that child inside and that in order to find it you must believe. Of course, no one wants to teach there kids that faeries and flying boys exist, but to even pretend to believe is just unbelievable. Some of the scenes in the film were just insanely wonderful. The end of the film was indeed sad and I cried like almost everyone else but if you are in the mood for a heartwarming film go and see it! You will be impressed and hopefully inspired! Everyone should go and see it!
My Ratings: [Excellent/5]
—Michelle, age 13
Positive—I’ll begin by saying that I am not trying to cut other people down, BUT I am rather surprised at some of the comments that have been made about Finding Neverland. The acting, photography and costumes were brilliant, but my main concern lies in the scene at the very end of the movie where Barrie and Peter are sitting on the park bench discussing death. A lot of people seem to think that Barrie is telling Peter that people who die are going to Neverland, but I would STRONLY disagree.

A majority of this conversation between Barrie and Peter is simply discussing how to deal with grief. Barrie tells Peter that [a person who died] is on “every page” of Peter’s journal, and that that is how he can remember the individual who died. He does discuss Neverland; however, it is important to remember that Neverland is an imaginary place—it is a land of make-believe stored in the imagination.

What Barrie tells Peter is that just as Neverland is a place in your imagination, you can also keep the memory of someone dead alive in your imagination. When you miss them, you can remember all the lovely adventures and escapades with them, and deal with the grief this way. I am generally very sensitive to non-Christian elements in movies and I see how this scene could be interpereted as being unbiblical. Even when I was watching this scene, I was VERY wary of what the characters were “really” saying—that said, I came out of the movie agreeing with what Barrie told Peter because I interpreted it as not referring in any way to heaven.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Charles, age 17
Positive—I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I did not consider the concept of “Neverland” to be a substitute for heaven. In fact, I’ve always used my imagination/memory a lot. When I am discouraged or sad, I do two things: first, I pray, then I think back to a happy experience. This helps my positive attitude return quite quickly! I think that the concept of Neverland is an idea open for interpretation. I chose to interpret it as simply an imaginary place with no metaphorical link to heaven, because this is how I personally felt that the movie portrayed it.

In the end, I think that, if Neverland is meant to be “heaven” then it is a flawed idea, but if it is merely an analogy used by Barrie to explain to Peter a way to deal with sadness, it’s not unbiblical, nor is it bad advice. Of course, there is no reference to God in the movie (is that really surprising from a Hollywood film?) but I didn’t feel that the movie was blatantly unbiblical either.

Note: this scene would be a great conversation starter for families after seeing the movie. I know my family had this discussion—I took the view expressed above while my Mom interpreted “Neverland” as being a “substitute” for heaven and therefore, a wrong idea. I feel that the movie left this scene open to interpretation, and that how you choose to interpret this scene it is simply a matter of opinion. I DO recommend this film to preteens, teens and adults.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Kate, age 17
Positive—Warning: this movie could leave you in tears! Fantastic movie and even more fantastically acted! Johnny and Kate were wonderful and I really enjoyed watching them act together. It is very emotional though and there is somewhat of a sad tone throughout the entire movie, in other words—don’t expect a Disney ending! But don’t worry, it does have many happy and funny moments. From what I can recall, there was absolutely no offensive language or sex scenes. Totally clean throughout. Anyone and everyone should go see this movie! Like I said though, it’s a bit of a tear jerker so ladies—bring your tissues! I give it an A and the acting an A++!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Emily, age 16
Negative—Lost a chance to tell the Gospel—Sure this film is “clean” and I agree with the comment about the child’s faith glorified in “Neverland” and Jesus saying “Have Faith Like Little Children” are alike. But that’s not enough to make it a “good” movie. First, no one in the film ever gives Christ the praise for telling us to have faith little children. Second, I can’t remember any one talking about the dark side of the imagination: Jesus said that the imagination can be used to kill and commit adultery Matthew 5. (Unless you consider Kate Winslet’s dress in the pirate ship scene and Barrie’s picture of Winslet’s mother as Hook as murder and adultery as being that statement.)

Finally, in last scene, after we been told to believe a dozen times, when Peter is told that his parent is in Neverland they could have said that they had believed that Christ was their Savior and their sins were forgiven and that they were in Heaven where there was never any tears there. In last few years Hollywood has gives us parts of the Gospel message, “Tuck Everlasting” to “Master and Commander” and “Gods and Generals” have, but not “Finding Neverland.”

Yes, this film is pretty clean, and the acting is good, but it has too many worldviews and doesn’t give God the glory: so I can’t honestly recommend this film to Christian families. In the end if I was crying it was because I was thing about how they had come so near to telling the world about God’s love.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive/4]
—C. Will, age 17
Movie Critics
…filled with positive, moral attitudes that encourage a hopeful outlook in place of depression and defeat…
—Eddie Turner, Movieguide
…David Magee’s script touches on tiny moments that would become iconic in Barrie’s masterwork, such as a tinkerbell and a ticking alarm clock. It has a sweetness that never cloys…
—Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter
…the picture’s conclusion wrings real tears, which are all the more earned because they’re not slapped out of you…
—Glenn Kenny, Premiere magazine