Award winners Johnny Depp (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL), Kate Winslet (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), Dustin Hoffman, and Julie Christie (TROY, HAMLET) star in this magical tale about on... more »e of the world's greatest storytellers and the people who inspired his masterwork "Peter Pan." Well-known playwright James M. Barrie (Depp) finds his career at a crossroads when his latest play flops and doubters question his future. Then by chance he meets a widow (Winslet) and her four adventurous boys. Together they form a friendship that ignites the imagination needed to produce Barrie's greatest work! An enchanting big-screen treat with an acclaimed cast of stars, FINDING NEVERLAND has been hailed as one of the year's best motion pictures!« less
Jeff V. (burielofmel) from HARRIMAN, TN Reviewed on 3/12/2008...
This was okay. Not one of the better Depp movies but not the worst either. I not really into peter pan so that might have some bearing on my opinion here.
2 of 8 member(s) found this review helpful.
Marla R. (Marla-R) from SEDALIA, MO Reviewed on 2/19/2008...
A sweet story of how Peter Pan became. With a love story intow. Johnny Depp gives a great performance here.
5 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sherri H. (MrsH) from ROME, GA Reviewed on 11/15/2007...
Another great Johnny Depp movie.
2 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Muses of Neverland
Jonathan Appleseed | 12/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One reviewer here suggests that you should not seek out the "true" story of how Peter Pan came to be made, because if you do, and then compare the true story to this movie, your enjoyment of Finding Neverland will decrease significantly. I must respectfully disagree with that. Yes, there were a few facts that were fudged - but that's all, just a few. The core of both stories is the same: how an adult came to find a muse within children, and to use his inspiration to write a genre breaking play that gave the world one of the most endearing characters in all of fiction.
Unlike many who have posted reviews, I have never been overly fond of Johnny Depp. However, that was not the case in this film. I've seen countless films of his, and enjoyed them on one level or another, but his personal involvement never affected me in a positive way. The perfect example for this is Chocolat, easily one of my favorite films, but I could have taken or left Johnny Depp. Finding Neverland has changed my opinion of Mr. Depp entirely, and I now count myself one of his fans. His performance was so understated, so sublime, so perfect that he made an admirer out of me. It takes an amazing performance to do such a thing, and this was an amazing performance.
Kate Winslet was Kate Winslet: without fault, capable of evoking emotion with a simple cough. The moment she appeared on the screen seemed almost to be the beginning of the film. Rather - the moment her character and her character's children appeared on film was when it really began
Winslet and Depp had terrific chemistry on screen - in fact, they may have had too much. They looked so good when they were together, that it seemed as if they should have been husband and wife. I kept expecting them to get together, but since one of the fudged facts is that Winslet's character's husband was still alive during all of this, that was impossible.
The film did a wonderful job showing something that would have been highly frowned upon in today's society. A grown man, spending all of his time with children? There may have been a restraining order placed upon him with today's sensibilities. Thankfully, yesterday wasn't today. "
Wonderful: It has such a sense of wonder and imagination
Joe Sherry | Minnesota | 12/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A film by Marc Forster
J.M Barrie (Johnny Depp) is something of a failed playwright. His latest play has just flopped on opening night. The audience was bored and left the theatre saying how dreadful it was. His relationship with his wife, Mary (Radha Mitchell) is chilly and loveless. But James Barrie still has an incredibly fertile imagination, turning the mundane into something more spectacular and wondrous, if only in his mind. While writing in a park James encounters the Davies family with one of the boys lying under the bench Barrie is sitting on. This boy is pretending to have been imprisoned by the king, George (Nick Roud), who is really just his older brother. Barrie, unlike what most adults would do, plays right along with the scene and tries to bargain young Michael (Luke Spill) out of jail. Immediately Barrie seems to form a friendship with the family, performing a little play with his dog for the family, which includes the mother Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet) and her other two sons Peter (Freddie Highmore) and Jack (Joe Prospero). Barrie spends more and more time with the Davies, befriending Sylvia and playing make believe with the children. From this relationship we see instances of Barrie's imagination taking hold and the creation of aspects of "Peter Pan".
Three of the boys join in and play every game with James Barrie, but young Peter does not. Still grieving and resentful at the death of his father, Peter will not play. In talking with James, however, Peter starts to come out of his shell. It is clear that this friendship, which is entirely innocent of anything romantic (in the case of Sylvia) or otherwise is of great comfort both to the Davies family as well as to James Barrie. There is conflict, of course. Sylvia's mother, Mrs Emma Du Maurier (Julie Christie) disapproves because of Barrie's behavior but also because she feels that the friendship will only cause a scandal and ruin any chance of Sylvia's being able to remarry into "Society". Barrie, of course, is married. This is the other major conflict. Mary is resentful of the time Barrie spends away from her, but it is also clear that their relationship is not working even before he met Sylvia and her family. They were already sleeping in separate bedrooms (though that may have been a cultural thing, I am not sure).
While all of this is happening, the producer of Barrie's plays, Charles Frohman (Dustin Hoffman) is trying to get Barrie's new play financed and is very worried when he sees what it is. It is a play about fairies and children with an alligator and a grown man who must dress up in a dog costume. Since these plays are shown to the "High Society", it is a play destined to flop. Coming from the twenty first century, we also know it is destined to become a classic in "Peter Pan".
Rated PG, "Finding Neverland" is a wonderful family film. In fact, that is the exact word that came to mind as I walked out of the theatre: Wonderful. There is truly a sense of wonder about J.M. Barrie and his imagination which created Neverland. His friendship with the Davies comes off as genuine and heartfelt and entirely natural. Johnny Depp's performance carries the movie, though Winslet and the four children are also to be commended for how well "Finding Neverland" has turned out. Depp is much more restrained here than in most of his other movie, but he still is able to shine through with a quirkly personality that feels appropriate to Barrie. "Finding Neverland" is a very imaginative movie, beautifully shot, with enough scenes of Barrie's imagination to override what could have otherwise been a drab London. This is clearly one of the best movies of the year.
Stirs emotions, makes you feel alive
Triniman | Winnipeg, MB | 11/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This story is based on James Barrie, the playwright best known for Peter Pan and it is one of the best films that I've seen this year, despite receiving next to no hype or marketing push.
James Barrie (Johnny Depp) is a playwright, successful enough to have a nice house with servants, and a beautiful wife (Radha Mitchell). Still, his marriage seems distant and he is bothered by the mediocrity of his creative output. On opening night, people complement him on his terrible plays and he knows they are just trying to be nice.
One day while sitting on a park bench, he encounters three adolescent boys, who he quickly befriends. He invites them over for dinner and also solidifies a friendship with their mother, played by Kate Winslet, much to the disappointment of his wife and her mother, the stern, protective Julie Christie. The boy's father died from cancer and to some extent, his becomes their playmate, without trying to replace their dad. At the same time, his wife becomes increasingly disenchanted that her husband is spending so much time with another woman and her children.
As his friendship grows with the boys and her mother, he begins to develop a play, loosely based about them. While initially met with skepticism in the planning stages, the play ends up becoming Barrie's most famous creation.
While less visually fantastic than last year's Big Fish by Tim Burton, Finding Neverland has its own tastefully limited special effects, but it outshines Burton's film in its amount of sheer heart.
I actually ended up seeing this film since I arrived too late for the film I originally wanted to see. At the end of Finding Neverland, I was not even slightly surprised to see the audience burst into applause. It was also nice to see that the film was sold out.
The acting is well done without being spectacular. I enjoyed Johnny Depp's performance, but he didn't play the role with an extraordinary amount of charisma. Some people will see this as a failing, but I think a genuine performance is better than glitzy but shallow one. One of the children is particularly strong, playing the role of Peter. He's the youngest but at the same time he's complex, cynical and surprisingly mature."
A movie about the child-like J.M. Barrie that treats its aud
Traveler | New England | 07/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Finding Neverland" is that rare gem of a movie that takes its audience seriously. So many of the movies out of Hollywood are geared towards the 16 to 25 year old male perspective. Action, dumb plot, stupid characters, etc. "Neverland" is a movie that doesn't pander to emotion. It doesn't show us yet another unnecessary action scene. And it doesn't make every relationship obsessed with sex.
What you get with "Neverland" is a movie that takes you to another time and gives you insight into the mind of a great writer and the experiences which influenced him. It is a patient movie, more interested in creating a tone and place to help us understand the concepts of Neverland, imagination, and reality.
While perhaps not the focus of the director (and probably unnoticed by most viewers), "Neverland" is also a refreshing depiction of a male character dealing with children. While Barrie is depicted as being child-like, he is still a grown man with an adult's ability in relating to children. Far too often we're inundated with media images of the stupid father figure, the doofus, who doesn't have a clue. With Depp's characterization of Barrie we see a man who can play with children and yet still be an adult.
Johnny Depp, almost as matter of course, once again delivers a performance that is all the more amazing given his body of work as a whole. This the same man who did "Pirates of the Caribbean," "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," and a dozen other movies in widely divergent character roles. And Kate Winslet seems to be only getting better with age, both in ability and beauty.
There seems to be a number of reviewers claiming that "Neverland" is slow or that it's pretentious. If you enjoy well made movies you can ignore these comments. Of course, don't fall prey to the hype, either. "Finding Neverland" might not become your most favorite film, but it is worth both viewing and owning as a DVD. I can't say that about too many films these days."