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Overall Rating
3.96

Awesome38.71%
Worth A Look: 36.02%
Just Average: 13.98%
Pretty Crappy: 4.84%
Sucks: 6.45%

14 reviews, 102 user ratings


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Finding Neverland
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Mark Rodger-Snelson

"A great family movie that is visually rich and full of substance."
4 stars

Director Marc Forster’s second outing is a very different movie to his academy award winning Monster’s Ball. Where his first was a harrowing story set in modern times and delivered with a harsh sense of realism, Finding Neverland is a family orientated period drama that effortlessly blends fantasy with reality. It is a visually rich film that carries strong messages that are never too overbearing and thankfully, does not get bogged down with over-sentimentality.

Finding Neverland (or the play on which it is based "The Man Who Was Peter Pan" by Allan Knee) never pretends to be a historically accurate biography or portrayal of JM Barrie but it is loosely based on real events that lead up to the writing of his masterwork. The film begins with both Barrie’s career and life reaching a crisis point. His relationship with his wife is rapidly deteriorating; his latest play was an absolute flop with London’s highly cultured critics and he has hit a brick wall as far as inspiration for another play is concerned. Despite the failure of his last play producer Charles Frohman (Dustin Hoffman) decides to give Barrie another chance.

Desperate for ideas he heads out to the park with his trusty canine in search of inspiration, which soon finds him in the form of four young boys and their widowed mother Sylvia (Kate Winslet). Barrie befriends this family much to the disapproval to Sylvia’s mother (Julie Christie) and the gossipy social circles of the time. Regardless of this, Barrie continues visiting the family with a determination to free the children’s minds whilst rediscovering the joy of childhood for himself. He is eager to dispel the maturity the loss of their father has brought about but remains respectful and understanding of their sadness. Through inventive games the children’s imaginations are kindled as Barrie is rewarded with pages of inspiration for a place he calls Neverland which would later become his play Peter Pan.

Johnny Depp impresses yet again with another eccentric and enchanting character. He convincingly takes on a Scottish accent and his playful portrayal of Barrie is a delight. Kate Winslet is equally good in her role and the children are fantastic, particularly Freddie Highmore who often steals the show with an amazingly strong performance for such a young lad (give this boy an Oscar!). The recreation of an Edwardian London through sets and costuming is exceptional and the seamless editing between Barrie’s real world and his fantasies is dazzling.

Finding Neverland is a family movie with a strong focus on just that – the whole family. It has the power to ignite the imaginations of young children whilst reminding adults not to take life too seriously. It also tackles some very weighty life matters with a delivery that is gentle enough not to upset the younger audience but should encourage them to question the larger picture. Meanwhile, adults are likely to need a box of tissues on stand-by for this one.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10919&reviewer=388
originally posted: 12/19/04 04:32:52
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Mill Valley Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Mill Valley Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Leeds Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Leeds Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/18/09 Liberty Man Great story and Depp as he should be. Enough with the pirate already. 5 stars
10/05/09 Bryony An amazing film I cry everytime lol Kate & Johnny both did an AMAZING job I love it!!! 5 stars
12/11/08 charles surmion its so cool i want to try and try... 4 stars
9/25/08 Shaun Wallner Great story! 5 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT TUGS AT THE HEARTSTRINGS LIKE A TOE-FINGERED HARPIST 1 stars
5/08/08 Courtney This movie is corny, boring and has expected 'twists' 1 stars
2/17/08 SamanthaP Johnny and Kate Winslet were amazing as always, and it was super sad at the end. 5 stars
9/04/07 John Just amazing 5 stars
8/11/07 Tiffany Losco Boring, I didn't like it. 2 stars
5/16/07 mia It was a sad story that contains inspiring messages 5 stars
1/15/07 jeannie karlsen Looking at Johnny Depp was enough of a reward, plot was however, boring 4 stars
11/10/06 Bill Hi all 4 stars
9/07/06 Thomas Semesky FINDING NEVERLAND! Fine me a plot first. Boring!! 2 stars
7/13/06 EZ To bad there is no 0 stars rating 1 stars
6/11/06 Dave Webber I thought this was totally maudlin and manupulative, 2 stars
5/21/06 Diane P very charming, my daughter enjoyed it as well 4 stars
5/05/06 Ashley Hinz I don't like Johnny Depp, but I enjoyed this. 4 stars
2/09/06 Samantha A nice twist for adults on the classic story, while children might find it boring 4 stars
10/14/05 Yves Caraan I didnt enjoy watching 2 stars
10/11/05 Jennifer Free You would think that it was for kids, but they were totally bored, and so was I. 3 stars
9/19/05 Jonathon Holmes perfect filmmaking at its finest 5 stars
9/14/05 Koopy the Loopy I love Kate, but this was a little too boring 3 stars
9/13/05 ray mero Two of the boys he helped raise committed suicide...the movie is a sappy and demented. 1 stars
8/25/05 EZ Let's go make make the worst play ever while talking with the worst accent possilbe 1 stars
8/19/05 Sara B. Slow to get going, at times oddly NOT engaging. Still has charm for Depp fans. 4 stars
8/12/05 yuko brilliant actors and story 5 stars
7/26/05 Laura Lee Macleod Kinda boring...but Depp is a magnificent actor 3 stars
6/17/05 Andy Far better than the professional critics suggest. Switch off the analysis, let it happen 4 stars
6/16/05 DM Sappy in places but very well-acted. 4 stars
5/28/05 Jake Good film but not oscar worthy 4 stars
5/21/05 Cham Great acting, pretty moving, way too sappy for words. 3 stars
5/05/05 Kristi Achilleos very good movie! pleasant to watch :) 4 stars
4/30/05 Steve Newman Absolutely excellent. Some moments makes you feel uneasy - awesome 5 stars
4/29/05 Charlie Crappy ending, but an interesting plot and story. 3 stars
4/28/05 kathleen4691 A great family film...for parents who want their kids to learn about extramarital affairs. 2 stars
4/22/05 Kim Great fantasy. 4 stars
4/19/05 Sharon Fernando Excellent glimpse into Peter Pan's inspiration. 4 stars
4/16/05 David Siegel Better than the professional reviews. A good background "study". 4 stars
4/08/05 Denise wonderful 5 stars
4/04/05 killbill03 If you can buy into it, you may really like it. 4 stars
3/28/05 Charlene Javier Gets better after repeated viewings... 5 stars
3/27/05 Emma Excellent, one of my favourite films. 5 stars
2/19/05 lj wouldn't see it twice 3 stars
2/18/05 Captain Craig I didnt think truly great film could be made anymore. Every aspect was suberb! 5 stars
2/15/05 Melody Arneil One of the few films of 2004 that moved me to tears. LOVED IT! 5 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Great movie, definite must see for a Peter Pan fan! 4 stars
2/10/05 H.P. Lovecraft I expected a little bit more for a best picture nominee. 3 stars
2/05/05 axe Like "Pan", better experienced in an audience with children. 4 stars
2/04/05 Melissa Johnny Depp - couldn't have been better! 5 stars
2/04/05 Ann Klonicki Johnny Depp is superb 5 stars
2/03/05 Mirella Rodriguez Who doesn't love Johnny? Great movie, great acting. 4 stars
2/03/05 craig varney can't find a better recent movie 5 stars
2/03/05 Debbi Kalstein interesting interpretation 5 stars
2/02/05 Clifford C Gardner Not great, but worth your time 4 stars
1/31/05 Danita Berg Beautiful....brought tears to my eyes. 4 stars
1/31/05 Gladys Paradowski Didn't achieve its objective, whatever that was. 2 stars
1/31/05 Lynda Eby Love Johnny Depp! 4 stars
1/31/05 Elena this was nice but everything shown was just so obvious and not deep 4 stars
1/31/05 Alison Mosbeck I don't see how anyone could NOT like this...a very imaginative film 4 stars
1/29/05 Charlene Javier Completely magical! 5 stars
1/29/05 malcolm Depp was a little too understated, but the film was great 4 stars
1/29/05 Garnet Leib So-SO 3 stars
1/29/05 Marilyn not to exciting 3 stars
1/29/05 Fred Pellerito Even though I'm a big Johnny Depp fan, this movie was nothing more than average 3 stars
1/29/05 Lisa Clarizio Johnny Depp's an excellent actor but just mediocre in this movie 2 stars
1/27/05 Roz How good is Johnny Depp?!! Charming story, great supporting cast, excellent art direction. 5 stars
1/26/05 Richard R. Lowe Better than awesome. Absolutely brilliant. 5 stars
1/15/05 Jamy I LOVE JOHNNY DEPP! He is a great actor and awsomeinseration to me in alll of his movies. 5 stars
1/14/05 green gremlin a superior "Shadowlands". Johnny Depp was simply awesome 5 stars
1/11/05 Heather Take some Kleenex 5 stars
1/09/05 KCobain A real treasure. Very powerful and emotional. 5 stars
1/05/05 Elizaveta A little too much like "Shadowlands." Still, its good but not great. 3 stars
1/05/05 Helen Bradley Poor editing too slow paced great stars failed by bad script too long 2 stars
12/29/04 The Mockingbird perhaps only too sweet for this cynical world. Wonderful acting all around 4 stars
12/26/04 efrain great movie. one of the best of 2004 5 stars
12/26/04 Suzz very fine acting; interesting storytelling 4 stars
12/13/04 A F Beautiful Film. Almost had some tears. 5 stars
12/08/04 Judy This film thrilled and moved me by its emotional honesty. 5 stars
12/07/04 Titus Nothing earth shattering, but a good (emotional) movie. 4 stars
12/05/04 Ron Cisco Moving, brought me to tears, the actor who plays 5 stars
12/03/04 Denise johnny rules 5 stars
11/26/04 Zohran Mamdani Amzing, brought me to tears! 5 stars
11/26/04 Destiny Pifer Wonderful movie! 5 stars
11/26/04 ajay good movie, but the ending went on about 10 minutes too long. 3 stars
11/26/04 Rudy Depp should have done more drugs in this film. 1 stars
11/24/04 Roger Yes, it's VERY good. 5 stars
11/24/04 T. Maj Conventional movie bio; Johnny Depp always worth watchoingnj 4 stars
11/23/04 Geoff Very good movie. Touching performances all around 4 stars
11/22/04 vagile Wonderful except for heavy handedness in last scene 5 stars
11/20/04 Kristina Williams You gotta love Johnny? 5 stars
11/19/04 kyla robertson Excellent movie. Johnny Depp is Amazing 5 stars
11/19/04 Tanaporn yes,it 's good 3 stars
11/18/04 matt wakeman Beautiful and tender. 4 stars
11/12/04 Paul Gaughan Absolutely fantastic ! I thought Winslett was brilliant as the Widow. Depp as good as ever 5 stars
11/11/04 Janet Wyatt Great drama lifted with flights of fancy. All the actors were superb. 4 stars
11/10/04 alex Disappointingly ordinary - clunky script and generally dull 2 stars
11/08/04 janyne mason i think it has a crap storyline, otherwise ok. 3 stars
11/07/04 Camdyn Nix Breath taking 5 stars
11/07/04 Emilia This film will be hailed alongside other Holiday Classics such as It's a Wonderful Life, et 5 stars
11/07/04 Karen Minton Terrific movie, Johnny Depp great 5 stars
11/07/04 Buffetblvd This film was magnificent - don't miss it!! 5 stars
11/02/04 Bronwen Johnny Depp is amazing. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  12-Nov-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 22-Mar-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  01-Jan-2005




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