We never watched this movie when it came out a few years ago, but we’ve gotten around to it now, and as it turns out, it’s a pretty good one.
FINDING NEVERLAND, not surprisingly, is about British playwright J.M. Barrie, the author of PETER PAN, and tells the story of how Barrie was inspired to write that play by his friendship with a young widow and her four rambunctious sons. There’s a little romance between Barrie (who was married at the time) and the widow, but it’s all very chaste and proper, as you’d expect from upper-class Brits in the early Twentieth Century. Mostly, though, it’s a story about the power of the imagination, and while I have no idea how historically accurate the movie is, it works very well for what it’s trying to do. The photography is beautiful, all drenched in rich, lush colors. The pace is a little slow, but not enough to bother me. This is really a movie where the actors have to shine, and Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet in the leads do so. (You can't watch Depp pretending to be a pirate without thinking about Captain Jack Sparrow, or at least I can't.) The supporting cast is good, too, even the little kids for the most part.
Clearly, this isn’t the sort of movie I normally watch – nothing blows up real good and there’s no nudity – but everybody needs a change of pace, I guess. It probably helps that I was a big fan of the TV version of PETER PAN starring Mary Martin that ran just about every year when I was a kid. I enjoyed FINDING NEVERLAND quite a bit and think that it’s well worth watching.