Last week while at the library, I was thumbing through a Writer magazine and came across a list of 10 movies writers should see. All of the films were thought by the list-maker to cultivate imagination and creativity. I scribbled the list on a card. As luck would have it, Cindy had just earned a two-week free trial for Netflix which allowed 6 films on the queue and mailed 4 at a time. It was mine for the taking, she offered.
Two days later, our mailbox was stuffed with four red envelopes, and last night we watched Finding Neverland. HMMMM, HMMMM Good. It's the story of how J.M. Barrie came to write the play Peter Pan, and it stars Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.
OK, I admit that I've seen the first Pirates of the Carribean three times and loved Depp in Charlie and the Chocoalte Factory and Chocolat. Even though I saw and enjoyed Edward Scissorhands, I first truly noticed Depp in Bennie & Joon (I saw it at the old Bridge theater in San Fransisco and the fact that I remember where I saw the film says something about how he impressed me.) Another favorite Depp film is What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
Depp plays these characters who defy normalcy and are captives of their imagination. Certainly Barrie was such a man to have imagined a place where children never grow old and a crocodile who can swallow an alarm clock that keeps on ticking. And Depp's characterization of him was tender and dreamy and generous and goofy.
The film worked in the way the list-maker in the magazine thought it might, for I dreamed all night of neverland places with yellow misty light and dancing acorns and squabbling racoons who couldn't share a cabbage and a prissy black cat who blinked one eye before walking off into tall dried grass.
Off for a day with the grandkids. ph