The story of the misunderstood man that created one of society's most popular fairy tales
"Finding Neverland" is perhaps one of the most uplifting films of last year. The film is about the famous playwright, J.M. Berry (Johhny Depp), about where he finds his inspiration for creating one of the most famous fairy tales of our time. In the movie, Berry meets Mrs. Davies(Kate Winslet), widowed mother raising four children, in the park and decides to spend more time with them because he likes being around kids. Of course, though, to make things interesting, the film has a child named Peter, whom the film ties a close relationship between him and Berry. However, this film does leave a lot to be desired because it feels as though some things about Berry's life were left out like his marriage problems, for example. Overall, despite its' flaws, "Finding Neverland" is one of the best family films of last year.
Johhny Depp's performance was simply brilliant in this film. If there ever was a guy who could play effeminate male who acts like a child and hangs out with a widow, just to be with her sons without looking like a pedophiler, then Johhny Depp does a great job. Depp portrays the character as a guy whom has been around serious society allums most of his career, but he has the heart of the child awaken by the presence of these young boys. However, it's Peter whom Berry forms the closest bond with.
The relationship between Peter Davies and J.M. Berry is perhaps the strongest relationship in the film. Peter is a young child who is traumatized by the death of his father, and now feels that the world is unfair, so he decides to not to engage in any childlike activity due to depression. However, things change as Berry seeks to make Peter have an imagination again. As usual with cliches and all. In one scene, Peter holds a play for Berry, but when Mrs. Davies falls ill, it causes him to get upset, so Berry consoles the boy. In these scenes it allows the audience to gain a clear perspective on their relationship.
The visuals for this film were good. It reminded me how "Big Fish" was able to switch from a fantasy world to the real world so gradually that it left the viewer amazed. For instance, in one scene, you would see Johhny Depp walk into his room with a forest inside while his wife walked into an ordinary one. This scene signifies how Depp and his wife live in two separate worlds. His wife lives properly while Depp lives in his own adventurous one.
However, the film does seem to cut out a lot of Berry's life. For instance, it never fully explains why he was having marriage problems, and it never tells you the true nature of his relationship with Mrs. Davies. At one point, you think they might be more than friends in scenes where Berry tells Mrs. Davies his most intimate secrets, i.e. J.M. brother's death. However, in another scene, Mrs. Davies says that she must keep up this lie of them being a couple as she is dying. Maybe, I'm being a bit paranoid here, but I would liked to have known what she meant by that.
However, "Finding Neverland" remains one of the most positive films of last year. With great acting from Depp, the film truly comes to life. Despite its' flaws, "Finding Neverland" is definitely one of the best family films of last year.