Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day2008

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)



Critic Consensus: Miss Pettigrew is a breezy period comedy carried by the strong performances of Amy Adams and Frances McDormand.

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Movie Info

In 1939 London, Miss Guinevere Pettigrew is a middle-aged governess who finds herself once again unfairly dismissed from her job. Without so much as severance pay, Miss Pettigrew realizes that she must--for the first time in two decades--seize the day. This she does, by intercepting an employment assignment outside of her comfort level--as "social secretary." Arriving at a penthouse apartment for the interview, Miss Pettigrew is catapulted into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse. Within minutes, Miss Pettigrew finds herself swept into a heady high-society milieu--and, within hours, living it up. Taking the "social secretary" designation to heart, she tries to help her new friend Delysia navigate a love life and career, both of which are complicated by the three men in Delysia's orbit; devoted pianist Michael, intimidating nightclub owner Nick and impressionable junior impresario Phil. Miss Pettigrew herself is blushingly drawn to the gallant Joe, a successful designer who is tenuously engaged to haughty fashion maven Edythe--the one person who senses that the new "social secretary" may be out of her element and schemes to undermine her. Over the next 24 hours, Guinevere and Delysia will empower each other to discover their romantic destinies.

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Frances McDormand
as Miss Guinevere Pettigrew
Amy Adams
as Delysia Lafosse
Lee Pace
as Michael
Christina Cole
as Charlotte Warren
Stephanie Cole
as Miss Warren
Beatie Edney
as Mrs. Brummegan
Sarah Kants
as Annabel Darlington
Matt Ryan
as Gerry
Mo Zainal
as Lenny
David Alexander
as Chestnut Seller
Sally Leonard
as Woman at Train Station
Katy Murphy
as Miss Holt's Assistant
Tim Potter
as Nightclub Patron
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Critic Reviews for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

All Critics (152) | Top Critics (54)

McDormand is left trying for emotional depth in a sea of middling farce and semi-sophisticated comedy.

August 15, 2008 | Rating: 2/5

McDormand brings a Chaplinesque pathos to this snappy period comedy. Fabulous frocks, tasty men, female bonding, art deco apartments to die for; it's like Sex And The City set in 1930s London. I could have happily watched it for hours...

August 15, 2008 | Rating: 4/5

It's lucky that Amy Adams and Frances McDormand lend their best charms to Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, otherwise this featherweight Art Deco fancy might drift away like a soap bubble, and go 'pop!'

August 15, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

American Lee Pace, from TV's Pushing Daisies, manages not one but several creditable English accents, sometimes unfortunately all in the same sentence, but whose emotional depth shows up this ball of fluff as insubstantial. Forgettable.

August 15, 2008 | Full Review…

Despite its limitations, I found it impossible to dislike this frail little tale.

August 15, 2008 | Full Review…

McDormand is frankly bland and unresponsive in a role she clearly couldn't care less about; Adams's wide-eyed ingenue routine is on autopilot, and the whole thing looks like a sub-prime American TV movie.

August 15, 2008 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Cast: Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Ciarán Hinds, Clare Clifford, Sarah Kants, Shirley Henderson, Lee Pace, Mark Strong Director: Bharat Nalluri Summary: When her gruff demeanor costs her yet another nanny position, desperate Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) wangles a job as the assistant of an aspiring American actress (Amy Adams) and soon gets swept up in a dizzying world of glamour and high society. Ciarán Hinds, Lee Pace, Shirley Henderson and Mark Strong also star in this charming 1930s-era comedy based on Winifred Watson's best-selling novel. My Thoughts: "A charming little love story. Shows you how so much can change in just one day. I loved Frances McDormand as Miss Guinevere Pettigrew. She was funny, smart, and true to herself. Amy Adams as Delysia Lafosse was great. She was such a fun bubbly person that definitely needed a little help in the relationship area. Edythe was a spiteful character. I was glad how things ended up for her. The two love stories are cute and in the end will leave a smile on your face."


Super Reviewer

The movie has almost no plot complications or suspenseful moments, yet I love it SO MUCH! It's a floating, pattering, whirling confection of a movie, and Amy Adams fits snugly inside Delysia Lafosse. I think she can have a tendency to be pigeonholed into the ingenue role, but she seizes anything that is thrown at her and you can tell she truly delights in whatever she does, no matter how small or predictable her role is. I love the concept of stuffing a movie into a DAY; the vision of people rushing breathlessly around to fit their events in a day is not something often explored and was executed magnificently!

Admittedly the story is not much but that is really the essence of the movie - it entertains and delights, but afterwards you can't really remember what happened, just that you were put in the best mood ever while watching it.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Lee Pace and Amy Adams give their usually cute performances while Frances McDormand proves yet again that she can pull any film by its coat tails.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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