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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

finding neverland

So, as a grand finale to the amazing Valentine's Day extravaganza yesterday, Brandon took me to see Finding Neverland. Gah, what an amazing film! Johnny Depp is officially in my top three favorite actors at this point. He is so perfect in this film, I can't even tell you.

Now, just this past summer, I decided that I actually needed to read Peter Pan for the first time; if you haven't done so, may I recommend that you do as soon as possible. It is, of course, a very quick and easy read, but it is so charming and devestatingly bittersweet that you will not regret it. In any case, as an epilogue to the copy I bough, there was a short article about the life of one Mr. J. M. Barrie, which I read.

The film is based on a longer book about his life, but I got the high (and low) points from the epilogue, so I more or less knew what was coming. I was, nevertheless, enchanted and wholly moved.

There are two lines which stuck with me an inordinate amount, and I will reproduce them here to the best of my ability; neither spoils the plot in any big way for those who haven't read about Mr. Barrie's life, never fear.

First, after the opening night performance of Peter Pan, Barrie is speaking to Peter Lewellyn-Davies, and several other people at the partie overhear. They begin to ask the boy, "Oh! Are you Peter Pan? How lucky you must be! Look, he doesn't even have a shadow!" etc. But Peter looks confused and says, "No! I'm not Peter Pan, he is," and points to Barrie.

Later, near the end of the film, Peter shows Barrie a notebook which he had previously torn to shreds and admits that his mother pasted it back together, and then he says, "After the play, I just started writing... And I couldn't stop."

I don't know why that last line got to me, except that I empathized with him so much. I started to cry at that point, because it was just so beautiful, and so sad, and so bittersweet all at once.

And if that little boy who plays Peter wasn't nominated for an Oscar, then the Acadamy people should be drug out into the street and shot. A boy that age giving that performance? Sheer brilliance. =)

Go see it at once if you haven't already. You will not regret it.

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