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Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Movie Review

Updated on October 30, 2012

First Look

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is a period film that finds all its relevance even today. With some immaculate script and meaningful scenes, the movie manages to be comic as well as sentimental while simultaenously highlighting the dark times ahead in a pre World War scenario. Most importantly and in better ways than most of the other movies I have seen, shows how much a single day can change a person's life.


Francis McDormand has found the perfect role for her hair, that of a Governess or simply a caretaker who is barely off the streets. Well no offence, but in almost every movie I saw, her hair have never been tidy and she is almost always shown as a pissed off person. Finally someone gets her right and she gets a less applauded but more deserved role as Miss Pettigrew, A daughter of a clergyman, a woman of principles, rich in wisdom but with empty pockets to compensate. Recently fired from her third job, she manages to steal a client's contact from her agency and ends up in the house of Delysia(Amy Adams) where begins a day that she never imagined will come in her life.

Delysia Laffose is an aspiring actor and singer, living in Nick's house, sleeping with Phil for a theater role she wants and in deeply buried love with Michael. Any guesses who takes the girl? Well it really takes a gentleman and lots of love on his part to bear through the swings of such girls until she finally figures out what is ideally right for her. That is exactly what Michael is doing while Delysia is fooling around trying to capture the most of the materialistic world she so desires. Phil is a spoilt, ignorant brat of a wealthy father who has little work in this world except to figure out what to eat next. And Nick is a rich owner of a famous social bar who has got his sources and influence in the city and though not clear how, we can be sure he has his hands dirty.

As Miss Pettigrew first enters Delysia's house, we see the beautiful Amy Adams dressed with a dream like smile on her face and a little too comfortable clothing by Pettigrew's taste. Delysia is immediately impressed as Mrs. Pettigrew manages to get rid of both Nick and Phil as asked by Delysia. In no time, Pettigrew for the first time in her life smokes, swears, lies and attends a lingerie show where she also happens to meet a gentlemanly fellow suitable for her age named Joe Blomfield(Ciaran Hinds). Joe Blomfield is a lingerie designer, a pretty good one for that matter who has just broken up his engagement with Edythe, a bitchy salon owner who also is the best one in what she does following suspection that Edythe might be cheating. As Guinevere Pettigrew spends a little more time in Delysia's circle of acquaintances, she is in no time recognized as a woman with technique and knack of convincing people. Subject to a couple of earlier incidences, she is soon entitled to convince Joe Blomfield to get back with Edythe and also to change the mind of Phil from giving the lead role in his theater to Delysia instead of Charlotte(Christina Cole).

Meanwhile finally tired of chasing Delysia around, Michael puts a condition where he is supposed to sail to New York the other day and Delysia has to simply choose for or against sailing with him. Did I mention that he is a piano artist and she is a singer and together they make the world hold their beat. The movie ends happily with something unexpected in store for the poor Guinevere Pettigrew.

The Other stuff

The best aspect of the movie is the development of characters. Our perception towards them in most of the cases changes extensively. Like you always expect a lingerie designer to be somewhere from gay to kind of a pervert and who turns out to be a gentleman. While after seeing Miss Pettigrew losing her third job creates an impression of someone who is clumsy but instead turns out to be a really smart person and Delysia who seems promiscuous and yet manages to come out with a good light. Besides, the movie has nearly no scenes that we could have edited and the light effects and photography give it justice of a period movie. Amy Adams as usual looks stunningly adorable and just breath taking beautiful. The other actors play their part well and justify their presence in the movie. Though it cannot be called a musical, it shows all aspects of one and manages to brace right music for the right mood.


When we begin our day, most of us hope for a miracle that will change our lives for better forever. This movie is about that one day in the life of an ordinary person when she least expects it. The better part is we attribute the change of her fortunes to her rather than her luck at the end of the movie. Also sometimes the best in us comes out in front of the right person, this movie is the small chapter which shows meeting that right person. This movie is a good watch and a fun filled inspiring movie about relationships that only last for a day yet inspire you for a lifetime.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day Movie Trailer


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