Tleasantville, Pleasantville Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review
Michael A. Maynez   photo


“The object of my affection, can turn my completion from white to rosy red, every time she holds my hand, and tells me that she is mine". Those are the lyrics of a 30’s or 40’s song, which by the way is not used in this movie, but it sure reminded me of it.

Gary Ross, has written, directed and produced this story. It starts out pleasantly enough but it soon turns into a Horror Story. The shock is not so much in the repressed sexuality, or that it traps two teenagers into a black and white TV that seamlessly goes into color, as people become involved with each other or reveals their true feelings. Where Ross, departs from the basics of “The Truman Show”, is that Jim Carrey is trying to get out of his bubble, where here all the protagonist s sooner or later pierce their own bubble.

Much to Gary Ross credit goes to having assembled a very talented strong cast. Joan Allen, superb as the wife, whose bathtub scene hasn’t been equaled since, Sharon Stone, found the joy of sex all by herself, may turn the whole screen into a vivid color. William H. Macy is a delight as the husband, who wonders where his dinner is? His dialogue screaming for “Honey I am home.” And no one to answer. Jeff Daniels in a role of a frustrated painter, who discovers there is more to soda jerking and making hamburgers, gives an endearing performance.

Still, it is the young people that carry the burden of bringing the story to light. Tobey Maguire delivers a very well-liked performance and make the whole picture come together. Reese Witherspoon is a totally likeable air-head. Still Ross holds the whole project together with great assistance from a talented group of hi-tech artists. You have to remember that he is responsible for having given us Tom Hanks in “Big”, J.T. Walsh is the scary conscience of this “Pleasantville”, and we are hardly prepared for the book burning, and lack of understanding for “colored” people.

You will leave the theatre highly disturbed no matter how many times you say, "It is only a movie". But the kernel of the idea is explosive.

New Line Cinema

Tobey Maguire
Jeff Daniels
Joan Allen
William H. Macy
J.T. Walsh
Reese Witherspoon
Don Knotts
Paul Walker
Marley Shelton
Jane Kaczmarek --------- David and Jennifer’s Mom
Directed by ------------- Gary Ross
Produced by ------------ Jon Kilik, Robert J. Degus, Steven Soderbergh, Gary Ross
Camera ----------------- John Lindley
Editor ------------------ William Goldenberg
Screenplay by ---------- Gary Ross
MPAA Rated PG-13

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Original Date Thursday 29 October 1998