Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

posted by Nell Minow
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some partial nudity and innuendo.
Profanity:Some mild language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and situations, brief nudity
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril and violence, punch, references to war
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2008
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some partial nudity and innuendo.
Profanity: Some mild language
Nudity/Sex: Sexual references and situations, brief nudity
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness: Comic peril and violence, punch, references to war
Diversity Issues: None
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2008

miss%20pettigrew.jpgA delicious retro romp about a failed nanny who finds her true calling when she transforms the life of a flighty singer, this film is designed around two fabulously entertaining stars, Frances McDormand and Amy Adams.
McDormand is Miss Pettigrew, who begins her day fired from her umpteenth nanny position and with absolutely no prospects. When the placement agency refuses to send her on another interview (“She found you rather difficult and that is, I am afraid, a recurring theme”), Miss Pettigrew steals the address of a prospective employer and shows up to find herself immediately in the midst of complete chaos. Delysia (as in Delicious) Lafosse (Amy Adams) is a singer who is currently involved with three different men. One of them is asleep in her bed, and another is on his way over. Miss Pettigrew’s calm demeanor, resourcefulness, and ability to think fast in a crisis make her immediately indispensable to Delysia, who rewards her with a makeover.


As Miss Pettigrew gets pulled into intrigues involving Delysia and her friends, she blooms. Instead of seeing herself through the eyes of others as a dowdy misfit, she sees herself as someone who is perceptive, constructive, needed, and finally, someone who is desired.
And Delysia, who has always understood that she is desired, learns the difference — and the importance — of being valued.
All of this happens in one heady day in which the world seems to be spinning especially fast. While the characters pursue frivolity — musical theater, fashion, parties, there is the specter of war everywhere. The point is lightly made that the characters, like the world around them, are losing some of their innocence but gaining depth, understanding, and fortitude.
Adams continues to be an enchanting screen presence and it is easy to imagine that three men could be easily dazzled by her. She has the ability to put a dozen meanings into a single smile, confidence and insecurity, nerve and doubt, ambition and ambivalence, giddiness and resolve. McDormand, who also produced, gets a chance to show off her comic timing and understated earthiness. The story takes too long with a detour into a storyline involving Delysia’s duplicitous friend, but comes alive again when Lee Pace enters as Michael, the third of the men in Delysia’s life.
Director Bharat Nalluri creates an authentic period feeling not only in the setting but in the story itself, making the film feel like a neglected classic, very much of its era but classic rather than old-fashioned. It may be traditional, but it is not the slightest bit musty.
Parents should know that the movie includes frequent sexual references and some non-explicit situations including brief male nudity. One of the characters has sex with men to further her career and another cheats on her fiance. Characters drink and smoke and use some mild language.
Families who see this movie should talk about what made Miss Pettigrew more successful in this job than she was in her others.
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy The More the Merrier.

  • Tim1974

    They must have forgotten to included the brief female nudity. Ooops, that’s correct they don’t do that. Double standard ?????? I won’t mention a thing. (Well, at least not this time.)

  • Abby

    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day includes a love story between mature adults; a rarity in film these days. And it glorifies small ambitions — marriage to someone who smiles when he sees you, a simple life, a job designing men’s socks. In our 21st century world, this is a worthy message to young people (and to some older people as well).

  • Nell Minow

    A wonderful comment, Abby, filled with insight! Thanks so much. I love the bittersweet scene near the end where the grown-ups talk about how little the young people understand of what lies ahead, as WWII is imminent. Everything they know makes them appreciate love — and smiles — and every moment — even more.

  • Pingback: MVP Of the Week: Lee Pace - Movie Mom

Previous Posts

Trailer: A Bigger Splash with Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, and Dakota Johnson
[youtube][/youtube] The lives of a famous rock star and a filmmaker, (Tilda Swinton and Matthias Schoenaerts) vacationing on the idyllic sun-drenched and remote Italian island of Pantelleria are ...

posted 8:00:25am Oct. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Adam LaVorgna of "Masterless"
Adam LaVorgna became an actor very young and was in the cast of the television series "Brooklyn Bridge" and "7th Heaven" before he was out of his teens. He loved the cast but he felt lost. He tried to use drugs to feel better and tried rehab ...

posted 2:58:01pm Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Lauren Bradshaw's "Martian"-inspired Google Searches
I love this wonderful article by my friend and fellow critic, Lauren Bradshaw, about the ten Google searches she made after viewing "The Martian." ...

posted 10:13:33am Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Goran Visnjic of "The Journey Home"
Goran Visnjic stars in the family movie adventure The Journey Home, with Dakota Goyo as an Canadian boy who is determined to bring a polar bear cub back to its mother. The scenery is spectacular and the story is heartwarming and exciting. I ...

posted 8:17:43am Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Golden Shoes
[jwvideo vid='KiRrH2Wm' pid='GvkPWNBE'] We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from the new family movie about soccer, "Golden Shoes." As long as he could remember, eight-year-old Christian Larou (Christian Koza) dreamed of being a ...

posted 8:00:46am Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.