"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, June 09, 2007

SNMR 3.12: "Pleasantville"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Pleasantville" (1998, PG-13, 124 minutes), starring Tobey McGuire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, JT Walsh and Don Knotts. The film was written and directed by Gary Ross.

I've seen this film a dozen or two times in my life, and will probably see it a dozen more just 'cuz I can.

From the DVD's dust jacket:
When 90's teens David (Tobey Maguire, The Ice Storm) and Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon, Freeway) get zapped into the perfect suburbia of the black & white '50's sitcom, Pleasantville, what results is a "visionary adventure" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) that Siskel and Ebert give "Two big thumbs-up!" Pleasantville's perfect people include a mild mannered soda-jerk (Jeff Daniels, Dumb and Dumber), a socially repressed mom (Joan Allen, Face/Off), and a father who always knows best (William H. Macy, Fargo). But when '90's pop culture clashes with 50's family values, chaos ensues, turning the town of Pleasantville upside down and black and white into color.

From Martin and Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 880:
This sly, provocative allegory reveals the shortcomings of 1950's style sitcom "utopias" in a manner that is subversive as the ingenious storyline. During the film's first half, you'll giggle and gasp at the execution of the witty premise: two modern day teens get zapped back into the black-and-white universe of a vintage television situation comedy where they're unable to resist "meddling" with the quaintly idealistic values found within the picture perfect setting. The film initially exaggerates these old-fashioned conventions - and it's hard not to laugh... until we see what happens when any establishment grows uneasy about change.

This is an excellent film all the way around. It's got a super cast (led by Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon with a great cameo by Don Knotts), a witty and engrossing script and is technically brilliant in it's execution. This is the last film appearance of superb character actor JT Walsh, released posthumously eight months after his death from a heart attack. This is definitely a great film to add to your collection for under $8, if you are into such things and a must rent if you're not. I'll give this movie five out of five stars.



At 10 June, 2007 14:05, Blogger scribe said...

You have been choosing some excellent films lately- EFB disliked this movie based on her notion that it was an anti-tradition agenda piece.

At 10 June, 2007 16:09, Blogger green said...

what a piece of work EFB is....

but you already know that.

At 10 June, 2007 21:34, Blogger ~Autumn said...

This is one of my favorites too. One of those kinds of movies that you could watch no matter what type of mood you're in.

At 11 June, 2007 17:54, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

i thought this was brilliant.

Said film contains one of my favourite movie moments when young toby's character rushes into the fire station - yells out 'Fire!!!' - gets no reaction - repeats process - gets frustrated - yells out 'CAT!!!' - sees firefighters spting into action.

and of course the social commentary behind the comedy was just what this 'those were the days' world needed, too.


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