In Miss Pettigrew, Frances McDormand (left) and Amy Adams spark off each other like a great old-school movie duo.
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (Alliance, 2008) D: Bharat Nalluri, w/ Frances McDormand, Amy Adams. Rating: NNNN; DVD package: NNN
Miss Pettigrew would double-bill perfectly with Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story or any of the classic screwball comedies. It's got the same giddy spirit and warm-hearted underlay, smart dialogue, snappy pace and great chemistry between leads Frances McDormand and Amy Adams.
McDormand plays Miss Pettigrew, an unemployed and desperate governess who cons her way into a job as social secretary to Delysia Lafosse (Adams, bearing the best character name since Bubbles Galore), a rising starlet scrambling between the two men who are good for her career while spurning the one who loves her.
Adams and McDormand play off each other as if they've spent years honing their act. They're the not-quite ditzy and the not-quite dour navigating the cocktails-and-quips world of 1939 trendy London like a classic movie duo. Among the men, Ciarán Hinds shines as the couturier who yearns to return to men's socks.
All this plays out against a backdrop of bluesy jazz and high-glamour frocks and flats that director Bharat Nalluri shows off without ever slowing down the brisk pace. The making-of doc provides a good look at the movie's design, while McDormand pops up now and then with interesting remarks on acting. Nalluri's commentary is amiable and informative.
EXTRAS Director commentary, making-of doc, source novel doc. Widescreen. English, French audio. English, French, Spanish subtitles.