1903 London. Renowned playwright J.M. Barrie (James)'s latest effort has garnered less than positive reviews, something he knew would be the case even before the play's mounting. This failure places pressure on James to write another play quickly as impresario Charles Frohman needs another to replace the failure to keep his theater viable. Out for a walk with his dog in part to let his creative juices flow, James stumbles upon the Llewelyn Davies family: recently widowed Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (the daughter of now deceased author George L. Du Maurier) and her four adolescent sons. James and the family members become friends, largely based on he and the boys being able to foster in each other the imagination of children, James just being the biggest among them in this regard. Sylvia also welcomes James into their lives, he who becomes an important and integral part of it. Among the six of them, the only one who does not want to partake is Sylvia's third, Peter Llewelyn Davies, who is ... Written by
The real J.M. Barrie was influenced and inspired as a child in Scotland by the adventurous stories of Robert Louis Stevenson of pirates, Indians and kidnapped boys. As a young journalist in London in the peak years of the Gilded Age his vivid imagination took him from novels to stage-plays.
Barrie loved games and founded a cricket club with fellow writers Arthur Conan Doyle and P.G. Wodehouse. An old nugget describing his personality tells of his comments upon himself and others that often appeared in the newspapers. He once remarked to H.G. Wells, "It is all very well to be able to write books, but can you wiggle your ears?" It was in the very early years of the 20th Century, now 101 years ago and the same year that in the windy Outer Banks of North Carolina that the Wright Brothers took flight that Jamie Barrie's Peter Pan soared into the air on wires in the London stage.
Marc Forester's fascinating film biography adapted by David Magee from Allan Knee's play, "The Man Who Was Peter Pan," now comes to us in this delightful, moving account, 'Finding Neverland.' It presents historical reality between lushly imagined expeditions to a fictitious Neverland. It's performed impeccably by Johnny Depp as Sir James Mathew Barrie and an extraordinary cast under the able direction of Marc Forster.
This is the loveliest film of the year, highly recommended. Bring Kleenex for the final scenes and see how difficult it is to leave the theater and return to today.
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