Friday, September 22, 2006

Beauty, Creativity and "Finding Neverland"

Miramax Films' Finding Neverland

Last night we watched "Finding Neverland" with Johhny Depp and Kate Winslet, it is a wonderful movie and Daniel and I enjoyed it tremendously. It is about the writer of the play "Peter Pan" and the family who inspired the play.

It was all really well done, the characters were, in my opinion, very well developed and the children played their parts briliantly. Johnny Depp does a wonderful job of playing James Barrie, an ordinary sort of man with an extraordinary imagination and Kate Winslet plays Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, mother to four wonderfully imaginative boys and devoted friend to James Barrie. One of the wonderful parts of this movie is how the relationship between Mr. Barrie & Mrs. Llewelyn Davies is portrayed. He becomes divorced and she is widowed yet they relate to each other as friends and never as lovers, though they do love each other very much. This story could very well have been spun into a dark story of rumors and scandal but instead it is very bright and innocent. However having said that, in my opinion, it is not suitable for young children. The death of the children's father & mother and the break-up of Mr. & Mrs. Barrie's marriage could be quite upsetting and confusing to young children.

What I noticed especially in this movie was the contrast between Mrs. Barrie and Mrs. Llewelyn Davies (the picture above is of Mr. & Mrs. Barrie). Mrs. Barrie was trying very hard to be proper and refined. Her home was very elegant but very stark, largely monochromatic.

But the Llewelyn Davies' home was very colorful and filled with beautiful things, beautiful - not elegant or fancy but beautiful. Her home was not very orderly and she always seemed to be a step or two behind but I think that is because she took the time to linger while her boys played at the park , and watch their wild theatricals and imaginitive play at home.

Mrs. Barrie was very bitter towards her husband, she wasn't a completely horrible person but she had allowed herself to get cold, to let her love for her husband die and she stubbornly refused to alow that love to be rekindled. She was a dissapointed woman and her demanding behavior was suffocating to the creativity of Mr. Barrie.

Mrs. Llewelyn Davies (pictured above with Mr. Davies) was also a dissapointed woman, she had lost her husband and her young family continued to grieve for him wach in their own way, but she had allowed herself to continue to live. She had her flaws as well, but her willingness to continue to love her children, to allow herself to love again made her a lovely person and brought alive the creativity of Mr. Barrie . In the presence of that lively family he thrived. You can see in the pictures the vastly different affect these two women had on Mr. Barrie.

There is also a huge contrast to Mr. Barrie and the grandmother, Mrs. du Maurier. Mrs. du Maurier, who was Mrs. Llewelyn Davies' mother, was domineering and superior, trying to impose her idea of discipline and order into the Llewelyn Davies' home. Mr. Barrie on the other hand brought an element of stability to the Llewelyn Davies family, he watched over them and tried to take care of them as best as his position allowed. His manly presence helped to channel the boys lively behavior and was a great support to Mrs. Llewelyn Davies, and yet he allowed them to be their own family and he never tried to supplant Mrs. Llewelyn Davies' position as the head of her household. Their affects on the children were vastly different, the children loved Mr. Barrie (they called him Uncle James) and hated their grandmother.
Anyway, all of that to say that I was so inspired by this movie to make my home a place of beauty and creativity. You know maybe having it "all together" really isn't the most important thing after all. I mean really is having the laundry still in the baskets going to be the end of the world, is it even really that important? What matters is that there is balance. How I long for our home to be filled with beautiful things and beautiful attitudes. In order for me to do that I'll have to lay down some of my tight-wad tendancies, and a lot of my selfishness and learn to cultivate a love for my home, wherever it is, and to learn that it really matters.

I guess that is something that I keep coming back to again and again. This question - does it really matter? Does the laundry and the dishes and the pictures on the walls and my home - does any of it matter at all? The answer to this question has been a hundred times "yes" ! It really does matter what sort of home I keep (or let go). It really does matter how I behave in that home, what I expect, what I demonstrate. I need to let go of the demand that I be "together" or even to be "right" in everything I do, and instead embrace the importance of the environment I create for my children and learn to really live in it.
However, Daniel and I come at life from such different points of view, he is a "realist" and I am an "idealist" he is for order I am for creativity, he is for routine and I am for spontenaity, he likes change and I despise changes in all forms. He prefers acitivty, I prefer stillness. Our ideals are even so different, so here is the challange - to find the balance between our ideals, to find the rhythem and the order in my chaos and maximize it. To really pour myself out for my family. Because it matters, it really really matters.

(photos are from


Osman said...

i dont know what to say. just an incredible movie. adorable.

Anonymous said...

I loved it too. Very charming and magical in that dreaming of childhood days way.