Finding Neverland

This is that rare movie that feels as if it couldn’t have been acted or written any better. It takes many liberties in its depiction of author J.M. Barrie’s (Johnny Depp) intentions and inspirations for his legendary Peter Pan, but only a true ogre would allow this to be bothersome. The relationship at this film’s center, Barrie’s paternal friendship with four boys after the loss of their father, is beautifully depicted. And while many a film would’ve chosen to allow Barrie and the children’s mother, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet), to embark on a torrid affair, director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball) and screenwriter David Magee wisely keep the relationship platonic. As Barrie, Depp is the polar opposite of the immensely enjoyable camp he put forth as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. His performance is one of subtlety and sweetness. Depp renders Barrie both virtuous and heroic while barely bringing his voice (effectively disguised with a Scottish accent) above conversational tones.

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