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Finding Neverland, movie review March 21, 2015

Posted by heidi skarie in Movie reveiew.
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51ui3htn10L-11Finding Neverland is an uplifting movie about J. M. Barrie, the author who was the creator of Peter Pan. The story is based on real events.

The movie stars Johnny Depp (without his pirate costume) who plays Barrie, Dusty Hoffman, Kate Winslet, and Radha Mitchell.   The movie takes place in London and opens with Barrie peering behind the curtain to see the audience’s reaction to his play on opening night. He’s disappointed to discover it isn’t well received.

Barrie goes to a Kensington Garden to write. While there he meets four young boys, including one named Peter, and their mother. Barrie and the family soon become friends and get together regularly. While Barrie plays make-believe games with the boys, such as pirates or cowboys and Indians, he is able to visualize the fantasy world they’re creating.

The boys’ father recently died of cancer and soon their mother becomes ill. Barrie becomes a father figure to the boys and provides financial support.

Meanwhile, Barrie’s marriage is falling apart as he spends more and more time enjoying this new family and less time with his already estranged wife.

The story shows how Barrie’s friendship with the boys inspired him to write a play about a group of boys who don’t want to grow up and led to the creation of Peter Pan. But the story isn’t just about the creation of a beloved, timeless story. It’s about young boys dealing with the loss of their father and a sick mother.

After viewing the movie, I did some research and discovered the basic story is true. Barrie supported the family financially, did become a father figure for the boys, he did have a Saint Bernard dog, and his interactions with the boys did inspire Peter Pan. A few things differed, such as Barrie met the boys in the park and became friends with them before he met their mother at a dinner party. Their father was still alive when Barrie met them and there were five Davies boys, not four.

The idea of a gang of boys who never grew up was inspired by Barrie’s thirteen-years-old brother who died in a skating accident when Barrie was six.  This trauma contributed to Barrie only growing to 4’10” and he never completely grew up.

In conclusion, the movie captures a world full of fairies, pirates, children who can fly and the magic of Peter Pan through the author’s imagination.

Old and young alike will enjoy this delightful, creative movie.

Why do you think Peter Pan became such a well-loved story? What elements make it timeless?

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. “ – J.M. Barrie, from his novel The Little Minister (1891)

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