Sunday, July 09, 2006

PLEASANTVILLE


From the Archive: 8/23/2004
PLEASANTVILLE

People are always asking me what is my favorite movie. My standard answer is always, "all the movies on my blog". While that's true, these movies are among my favorites, it's hard to choose one above all the rest. There're are just so many.

BUT ........... if I had to pick, say 10, my top ten favorite movies of all time, this would certainly be one of them. I know that for me that's saying a lot, but then this movie is just that good.

What is it about? Let's see. A teenage brother and sister from the present, find themselves magically transported into a black and white 50's TV sit-com. The brother, by the way, just happens to be a trivia expert of this particular show. Can the two navigate their way through 50's America and get back home to their own time?

Now........ Forget everything I just told you because it's not about that at all. The filmaker sets up the premise and you think it's going to be just a fun phoofy little teenage comedy. It's not.

It's about change. The history of the human race shows us that at the turning points of great social change, there have always been people who have embraced that change and there have always been those people who resist it. History has also shown us that those two group of people are always in conflict. Things have always been "pleasant" in Pleasantville, but only because there has never been any change. The two teenagers are the catalyst of change.

I like films that are clever. There are lots of little details in PLEASANTVILLE that are interesting to watch. For example, note that as more changes take place, the music on the jukebox become more and more eclectic. There is symbolism as well. When people embrace the change, it's literally like painting a blank canvas. Check out the trivia section for this movie at the imdb site for other interesting details. If you want a better review than mine, the link below will take you to Roger Ebert's review.

Rent it and enjoy.


Film critic Roger Ebert's review of Pleasantville.

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