Look into the Dep(p)ths of the Story
Marc Forster (MONSTER'S BALL) does a more than capable job of directing Jonhhy Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Dustin Hoffman, and Radha Mitchell in this fictionalized biopic about James Barrie, the creator/playwright of Peter Pan.
At the beginning of FINDING NEVERLAND, we are shown Depp as Barrie, nervously pacing the theatre house where his play is about to be staged. The story is set that the character is a little neurotic and his wife (played by Mitchell) is a little uptight and disapproving of him. The story then follows Barrie as he meets and befriends the Davies family with Kate Winslet as the single mom Davies.
The movie is very PG as Barrie has neither lascivious thoughts for the four boys or for Mrs. Davies (or for his wife for that matter). Depp's little boy nature plays perfectly into the fantasy worlds Barrie creates for the boys and himself as he romps with them in the Davies' garden.
Forster is able to create a seemingly real bond between Barrie and the Davies children (especially Peter). But something falls flat, the film's joys aren't that high and the sorrows aren't that low. Call me a cynic, but I think it is the fictionalization that did it. The Barrie character played by Depp seemed to be accessible and passionate, yet had no physical connection to others?
The real life Barrie had an extreme affection for the Davies family, but was compulsive about not being touched. He abhorred it and would recoil. Which already makes him more interesting, he enforced no physical connection with people (autism? ocd?). The film's depiction made a failed sanitized version of the real Barrie, and as a result made it less believable/interesting to watch.Comments: Post a Comment