Finding Neverland

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Finding Neverland
Review (7.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Finding Neverland is a movie based on the true events that covered the months leading up to the writing of the play "Peter Pan" by author and playwright J.M. Barrie, played in the movie by the outstanding Johnny Depp. In the movie, Barrie finds himself fresh off a failed play which he wrote, and fresh in a failing marriage, when he ends up in a park attempting to come up with his next piece of work. That is when Barrie happens upon a family of four young boys and a beautiful, young widower named Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet).

Barrie becomes caught up in the imagination of the children and the beauty of Sylvia and this brings out the young child that is still trapped inside of Barrie. The general public, including Sylvia's mother Mrs. du Maurier (Julie Christie), raises an eye at Mr. Barrie's apparent obsession with the children and his relationship, as a married man, with their mother, but it is from these relationships that Barrie pens the marvelous story of Peter Pan. The play is purchased by promoter Charles Frohman (Dustin Hoffman) and with the assistance of two dozen orphaned children in the crowd on opening night, the play is an instant success.

I am disppointed to inform all Johnny Depp fans out there that Finding Neverland is not yet Mr. Depp's Oscar swan song. Don't get me wrong. Depp delivers his usual stellar performance as J.M. Barrie, but if he wasn't Oscar-worthy for his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, I have a hard time seeing him getting any recognition for his work as the creator of Peter Pan.

But that's not to say that Finding Neverland is not a good movie. In fact, it has several strong performances, it is beautifully shot, it is charming, it is funny and it may even jerk a few tears here and there. I quite enjoyed this movie and do not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who does not want to hide that child that still exists inside all of us and to anyone interested in seeing the story of how one of the great fairy tales of all-time came to fruition.

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