Amy Adams. Angelina Joli. Sarah Jessica Parker. Frances McDormand. Odd, huh? Three younger beauties who can act. One maturing woman, not-so-beautiful, can stand equally with them. Star power? Inner beauty? Confidence? Frances McDormand has It which others can see.
"Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" is a fine vehicle for our Frances. She plays the low-key Miss Pettigrew, freshly out of a job, desperate for a new one in pre-war London, as she has no apartment and no possessions other than what she has on her person. Why can't she keep a job? Because she is painfully truthful!
Through a fluke she acquires the address of a rich, young American singer and inquires within. What this American needs is a therapist/parent. What she gets is Miss Pettigrew, a magical godmother in the guise of "social secretary." You see, Delysia McFosse is morally confused in her quest to be a stage and screen star. She currently is sleeping with three men: one for an apartment and unlimited funds, one for a movie role, and one for fun. The plot suggests that Delysia loves this third one. He definitely loves her!
Circling this bankrupt moral code in a bankrupt time of war is Miss Pettigrew. One follows the code. This is a rule for both society at large and individuals up close. By movie's end Miss Pettigrew has touched and impacted behavioral changes both refreshing and dynamic. Not only does she point Delysia in the right direction, she unexpectedly and inadvertently shows Delysia's cold-hearted, man-eating friend for the scoundrel she is.
In impacting behavior around her, the starving Miss Pettigrew finds herself in dire circumstances once again. Instead of being a fairy godmother, Miss Pettigrew needs someone to watch over her. Someone does come and fulfills her dreams. All's fair in love and war. This is love and it is very fair!! Indeed, in living for a day, Miss Pettegrew will live the rest of her life.
What a charming and delightful movie! Highly recommended!