Charming little piece of work, this is. 😀
Frances McDormand is Miss Guinevere Pettigrew, daughter of a clergyman, whose beliefs and ways have always been in contradiction with her employers. As such, she is fired at the beginning of the movie from her post as governess. She goes to her agency to get another job, but her history has made it difficult for the director to hand her another one, especially since war (as this is set right before the Second World War) was coming and jobs were scarce. With no job and no money, Miss Pettigrew “steals” a calling card bearing the name of a woman who has asked for the agency to send her a “social secretary.” She shows up at the woman’s door, and from there, she begins to LIVE.
While the word LIVE may have different implications, in this movie we see that Miss Pettigrew has lived a very depressing and drab life, but her encounter with her new employer, however brief it is in the movie, provides her with opportunities not just to think outside the box but to LIVE outside it as well. She has never lied, cursed nor deceived anyone, but desperation has forced her to do these things with some consequences that are rather amusing to the third party observer. Also, it appears that she doesn’t have friends but finds a few in the company of her employer. She gets pampered, gets a makeover, and lives the high strung life of a young starlet’s “social secretary,” whatever that is. She experiences so much that it is a surprise to realize that all of it happens in just one day. And in that one day, Miss Pettigrew lives.
Charming, charming, charming. A wonderful and truly apt review of the movie can be found here. Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Lee Pace. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.