Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bechdel Test #1: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Two words:  Epic Failure.

I'm not exactly sure why I put this adorable, gorgeous film on the list as having passed the Bechdel Test.  It was still wrapped in cellophane, meaning I hadn't watched it (my copy) since I rented it from Netflix who knows how many years ago.  I think perhaps my logic was "Miss Pettigrew and Amy Adams must talk about her schedule, etc."  And they do, kind of.

Sadly, 90% of the movie is Miss Pettigrew and Amy Adams and Moaning Myrtle discussing the men in their lives and which man would be a better fit to get them what they want.  In other words:  a complete and abject failure of the Bechdel Test.

As I said, the film itself is beautiful, full of early 1940s glamor and fashion.  The comedy is right on as well -- wonderful timing of the farce variety with some physicality that reminds me of Blake Edwards' direction of Victor Victoria.  Amy Adams is adorable (as usual), and Frances McDormand quietly steals the film and fills you with warm fuzzies.  If you watch Game of Thrones, you might recognize CiarĂ¡n Hinds, although he looks a bit different in this piece.  The film is, of course, based on the 1938 novel of the same title by Winnifred Watson (what a great name!) that I now have to read.

Abject failure aside, here are some pretty pictures:

Amy Adams stop being adorable! 
(Photo courtesy of I couldn't make up that website name if I tried.)

Even in distress she is still adorable and glamorous.
(Photo courtesy of

Look at that flat!
(Photo courtesy of -- who is coming up with these names??)

And, of course, Frances McDormand.
Looks rather frumpy, doesn't she?  She does get a makeover during the film, but that's not important.  What's important and what this picture (courtesy of The Guardian) doesn't show is her impeccable timing, comedy, and brilliant facial expressions.  Do yourself a favor and watch this film to see how farce is done (without mugging).

On to the next Bechdel test candidate:  Beetlejuice.

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