Title: Finding Neverland
Age Guidline: PG (Parental Guidance)
Star Rating: 4 stars.
Storyline: This story is loosely based on J.M Barrie‘s close relationship with the Llewelyn Davies family who were the inspiration behind Barrie’s Peter Pan
The movie begins with the playwright J.M Barrie (Johnny Depp) staging his latest theatre flop and his producer Charles Frohman (Dustin Hoffman) soon commissions his to write another script but this time to make it a huge hit.
The story starts to get moving swiftly when Barrie encounters the young boys of the Llewelyn Davies family at the park. He begins to spark their imaginations and entertain them and their mother, Sylvia (Kate Winslet), with his imaginative games and tales. Touched by their loss, captured by the young boys imaginations and simply hypnotized by the family, Barrie begins to spend more time with them – telling stories, playing games and continuing to inspire the young boys.
But this comes at a cost.
Barrie and his wife Mary (Radha Mitchell) begin to grow even more so distant, straining their marriage and his relationship with the family stirs trouble with the boy’s grandmother (Julie Christie) who is scared that it will destroy Sylvia’s chances of being remarried as she would get hooked up on Barrie – a married man.
Despite the fact that all Barrie wishes to do is to spark the boy’s imaginations and play games involving pirates, the majority of London’s socialites also soon stick their noses in, suggesting that there is something improper going on though this speculation is seemingly dropped almost as quickly as it was raised.
The boys are quick to inspire Barrie to begin writing once again. This time he is creating a tale of a boy who forever stays young: Peter Pan.
My Thoughts: Since an early age Peter Pan had been my obsession* and J.M Barrie one of my greatest inspirations and so you can imagine my excitement when coming across Finding Neverland. Taking this into consideration, one might suspect this review biased. Nevertheless, I will continue with my honest opinion.
In Finding Neverland the cast give a touching performance, the images portrayed are simply beuatiful and, for me, learning more about J.M Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies family – though the film does not portray the relationship in entire accuracy – is truly inspiring.
It is such a captivating, heartfelt film containing outstanding acting, such emotion and an fantastic use of colourful imagery and let me assure that a tear or two might make its way down your cheek at certain times within the film.
The moral of the film is clear for all to see: find your inner child, let it out to explore but never let it go.
*Apart from ducks, of course.