Unlock Your Imagination

Finding Neverland brings out the kid in all of us. Although I’ve always connected with Peter Pan, I never knew the story behind Neverland. I also never realized J. M. Barrie was a Scottish playwright living in London before creating Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. Although Finding Neverland was intended for release before the 2003 Peter Pan, it was pushed back to 2004 to avoid competition. Peter Pan (2003) unfortunately bombed, while Finding Neverland ended up with 7 Oscar nominations and 1 win for Best Original Score.

Nominations included Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume Design, Film Editing, and Best Actor for Johnny Depp. Though a conventional biopic performance, Depp nevertheless captures Barrie’s childlike imagination. Finding Neverland is very whimsical and heartfelt. It’s PG, but it can get a little heavy at times. Barrie gained most of his inspiration from the Llewelyn Davies boys. Kate Winslet plays Sylvia, the mother of four sons (original five) including George, Jack, Michael, and Peter.

Though society assumes the worst, all Barrie wants is to bring a little fun into their lives. Most of his attention is placed on the stubborn, unimaginative Peter who would inspire Pan. A young Freddie Highmore is so good in the part that Depp personally recommended him to Tim Burton a year before Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In case you wondered where that meme came from. Dustin Hoffman is ironically part of the cast, but no joke is made of him as Captain Hook. Seeing the unconventional play come to life feels like being a kid again. Finding Neverland brings a little magic into the world around us.

3. Finding Neverland

J. M. Barrie speaks with Peter

2 thoughts on “Unlock Your Imagination

  1. I saw this one only once, and found it very sad, but very informative on Mr. Barrie and what drove his creativity. I remember reading some time ago that it was the tragic drowning death of his brother that was a big part of his wanting to write Peter Pan, to deal with his fear of death, and to immortalize his beloved brother.

    Liked by 1 person

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