FINDING NEVERLAND (Rated PG) – Starring Johnny Depp (Secret Window, Pirates of the Caribbean); Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Life of David Gale); Dustin Hoffman (Runaway Jury, The Graduate); & Radha Mitchell (Man on Fire, Pitch Black). Directed by Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball).
Nuts and Bolts: This movie is the story behind the playwright who penned “Peter Pan.” J.M. Barrie wrote what turned out to be a beloved children’s book as a play in the early 1900s. Depp, who plays Barrie, befriends 4 young boys who lost their father to cancer. His time with those boys, one in particular named Peter, lead to the fantasy tales we’ve all heard or read. Winslet plays the mother of the 4 boys, Mitchell plays Depp’s wife and Hoffman plays Depp’s producer and friend. The movie is based on true events.
The 8 Buck Test: A movie full of revelations about things you probably forgot about experiencing as a child. It does a good job of incorporating both Barrie’s life and how Peter Pan came to be. Depp does a good job but it’s not anything close to his Pirates Oscar worthy performance. Make sure you enjoy the part of the movie where Depp focuses on one of the young boys and the actual instant he becomes a grown-up. It’s a fantastic moment in the film and really hits home. Most people remember the exact second they felt like a grown-up for the first time and many continue to look back on it now and wish they could have that child within once again. Also, go into the theatre knowing, the movie’s tear-jerk factor and predictability are high. Let those factors influence your wallet on their own.
If My Opinion Actually Mattered: My overall grade for this movie is a B-. Would have been much lower if not for the way the story really came together in the end and I realized I had grown to love and identify with some of the characters which should be the goal of most films. Gets a few bonus points for endearing biopic qualities as well.
Don’t Miss This: I love movie trivia so here’s some I snagged from this film. First of all, in one scene, Depp is playing a swarthy pirate. Must be getting ready for Pirates 2, huh?!?! In the same scene, Winslet can be found on the deck of a big ship. (Watch out for that iceberg and where’s Leo). And did you notice this isn’t Hoffman’s first run-in with Peter Pan? Although he’s not directly involved in the story this time around, Hoffman played Captain Hook in the movie, Hook back in 1991.