It’s interesting to learn how writers created the great works of literature, stage, and screen. With that objective, I wanted to see Finding Neverland, about the creator of “Peter Pan”, J.M. Barrie. Johnny Depp poured himself into this role, as he usually does, with intensity and great understanding of the character. Bravo! It was fun watching him for two hours, which for me was the highlight of the film. As the story goes, James.M. Barrie was inspired by the four sons of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. James meets Sylvia and her four hyper sons in a park while writing, and gradually becomes the boys’ playmate. He was married at the time to a controlling upper-class woman who isn’t the least bit interested in James’ career. As James continues to interact with the boys, he gradually comes up with the idea of Peter Pan, and then we see the production of it. End of story. A little disappointing; I thought the muse was going to be this other woman, not the kids. Oh well.
Sylvia is played by Kate Winslet, and unfortunately this is not one of her great performances. Also, not sure if she gained a lot of weight before this movie or was a victim of bad costuming, but she looks downright chunky and frumpy. And we never do find out what disease she has in the latter part of the movie. I want to know!
This is a great kids’ movie, so if you like kids by all means go see it. If you prefer adult tales, then watching Johnny Depp for a couple of hours just might be worth it.