Finding Neverland (2004)
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 still grieving the reality of their lives, where his father was there one day planning an outing for the family, and gone the next. Two other people who don't appreciate James in the Llewelyn Davies' lives are: his wife, Mary Barrie, who always feels the need to be the responsible one in their relationship and who feels threatened by his friendship with an unmarried woman; and Emma du Maurier, Sylvia's overbearing mother, who sees him as an obstacle to Sylvia moving on with her life with another potential husband, and an impediment to maintaining discipline within the boys. James still hopes to bring Peter out of his self-imposed shell, but in the process comes up with an idea for another play based on an amalgam of himself and Peter, that play which eventually becomes what Charles sees as a largely unmountable and thus doomed production called "Peter Pan". This process of helping Peter could take a step backward when it looks like Sylvia may imminently befall a similar fate to that of her late husband.
The movie details the experiences of "Peter Pan" author J.M. Barrie, which lead him to write the children's classic. He got to know four children who have no father. Drawing from his time with the kids, he writes a story about children who don't want to grow up.
London, 1903: four lads, three women, and J.M. Barrie in the year he writes "Peter Pan." After one of his plays flops, Barrie meets four boys and their widowed mother in the park. During the next months, the child-like Barrie plays with the boys daily, and their imaginative games give him ideas for a play. Simultaneously, a friendship deepens with Sylvia, the lads' mother, to the chagrin of his wife Mary, with whom he spends little time (separate bedrooms); the widow's mother; and high society, which gossips about his attraction to the widow and to her sons. As Sylvia's health worsens, Barrie's ties to the boys strengthen and he must find a way to take his muse to Neverland.
In this drama, we are told the story of how J.M. Barrie came up with the play Peter Pan. After some failed attempts at creating a well written play, Barrie finds himself in a park playing with his dog. Several moments later he will come to meet the inspiration for his next play, four small boys and a widowed mother, who seems to be growing weaker by the day. Soon, the whole town is talking about Barrie and the Davies family, which causes some rough waters in his marriage. But what comes from his experiences is the play that comes to be known as Peter Pan.
In 1903, in England, the play writer J.M. Barrie has a complete lack of inspiration, and his last work was a deceptive play. When he meets the children of the widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, he becomes friend of the family and Sylvia becomes his muse and her children the source of inspiration. James writes the successful play about "Peter Pan and Neverland".
The story of J.M. Barrie's friendship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.
- The story focuses on Scottish writer J. M. Barrie, his platonic relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, and his close friendship with her sons, who inspire the classic play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up.
Following the dismal reception to his latest play, Little Mary, Barrie meets the widowed Sylvia and her four young sons in Kensington Gardens, and a strong friendship develops between them. He proves to be a great playmate and surrogate father figure for the boys, and their imaginative antics give him ideas which he incorporates into a play about boys who do not want to grow up, especially one named after troubled young Peter Llewelyn Davies. His wife Mary, who eventually divorces him, and Sylvia's mother Emma du Maurier, object to the amount of time Barrie spends with the Llewelyn Davies family. Emma also seeks to control her daughter and grandsons, especially as Sylvia becomes increasingly weak from an unidentified illness.
Producer Charles Frohman skeptically agrees to mount Peter Pan despite his belief it holds no appeal for upper-class theatergoers. Barrie peppers the opening night audience with children from a nearby orphanage, and the adults present react to their infectious delight with an appreciation of their own. The play proves to be a huge success.
Because Sylvia is too ill to attend the production, Barrie arranges to have an abridged production of it performed in her home. She dies shortly afterward, and Barrie finds that her will is to have him and her mother to look after the boys; an arrangement agreeable to both.