Reviewed by: Marilea Gray
CONTRIBUTOR (first time)
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
What advice do you have for new and growing Christians? Answer
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer
|Featuring:||Amy Adams, David Alexander, Clare Clifford, Christina Cole, Stephanie Cole, Beatie Edney, Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds, Sarah Kants, Sally Leonard, Frances McDormand, Katy Murphy, Lee Pace, Tom Payne, Tim Potter, Matt Ryan, Mark Strong, Mo Zinal|
“Life on Mars,” “Tsunami: The Aftermath,” “The Crow: Salvation”
|Producer:||Nellie Bellflower, Jane Frazer, Stephen Garrett, Maggi Townley|
“Every woman will have her day”
The setting of this story is England during 1939, just before it goes to war with Germany. Miss Pettigrew is a middle-aged governess banned from further employment through an agency, because of her strict moral views. In desperation, she steals a card from the desk of the agent that she believes is a job as governess. When she arrives at the home, she quickly finds out that the job she thought was for a governess for children is really a personal assistant position to a young, upward climbing actress.
After leading a sheltered life, she is quickly exposed to the life of the social climbing society. She is given some quick lessons on how to play the game, and, to keep from being found out and being out on the street, goes along with many deceptions. The first half of the movie shows how she responds to this new life, and how easy it can become to ignore your morals. In the second part of the movie, she begins to realize how easy it can be to compromise, and how it has begun to change her. She then decides what is more important, living by what you believe or going along with people around her. The plot is about recognizing true love and the challenge to stay true to yourself, no matter the consequences.
Frances McDormand is wonderful as Miss Pettigrew. Her transformation and conflict during her day as a personal assistant to the young woman, played by Amy Adams (from the movie “Enchanted”), makes the movie. Amy Adams as Delisya LaFosse, is a character that uses her sexuality to move up the social ladder and get her a role in a play that she desires. At first, she seems like a very shallow person, but, as the movie progresses, she begins sharing with Miss Pettigrew her reasons for her choices and more about her background, to explain how she got to this place.
There are a few scenes with nudity that may be offensive and is the reason I rated it for teens and adults. In the first scene, when Miss Pettigrew arrives at Delisya's home, it shows a partially nude man in bed. There are some innuendo scenes with Delisya that show how she has compromised herself to get what she wants. There is one other semi-nude scene of Delisya when she gets out of the tub after a bath, but it is not sensual. There are a few other innuendos with Delisya and the two men she is courting.
There are a few uses of course language, as well as using the Lord's name in vain. The language, overall, was minimal, which was refreshing in a movie targeted for adults.
During the first part of the movie, it begins to look like it is going to be one in which the sheltered governess is exposed to the world and all that it can offer, with no negative consequences. However, it changes as the movie progresses, and the moral character that she has known her whole life begins to return, and she becomes outraged by the superficial life of the society people. She is disturbed by their behavior and has a positive influence on some of them to learn to live a real life.
Miss Pettigrew mentions that she is a minister's daughter and has led a sheltered life. She does experiment with drinking at a party and seems to enjoy the atmosphere. Later on, however, she sees the lack of depth in the people around her and decides that her morality is an important part of who she is. She rejects the superficiality and encourages Delisya to do the same.
The story has many positive elements, once you get past the first part of the movie. Even though it is not a true comedy, there are many funny moments in the film. The overall theme can be used as a positive discussion about what is most important in life and how compromises can negatively affect someone's life. I was concerned, at first, about the direction of the movie, but was pleased to find that the overall theme supported the religious morality of the character, instead of ridiculing it.
I would not recommend this movie to anyone younger than high school, because of the nudity and adult theme, but for older teens and adults, it is a good movie to remind us of the value holding true to our beliefs.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.