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(Review originally written at 12 October 2005)

Drama's normally always have the awful tendency of over-dramatizing moments. "Finding Neverland" is actually one of those rare movies that doesn't go over-the-top and none of the dramatic moments feel forced.

"Finding Neverland" is a biopic based on the life of play-writer J.M. Barrie, best known as the creator of Peter Pan. The story takes a few liberties with the truth, just like every good biopic always has done. There is never anything wrong with taking some liberties with the story, as long as it is good for the movie its story and main character.

The movie its story is truly magical. It shows in a beautiful way that there is a child in all of us and we should not be afraid to show that at times and stop wanting to grow up so eagerly but instead enjoy the little playful things in life. The story works because of the actors their screen chemistry and some beautiful looking sets and costumes. The movie is not all joy, there also are some dramatic moments that work really well and powerful in the movie without ever going over-the-top.

The cast is impressive; Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Freddie Highmore, Julie Christie but perhaps the most underrated actor of the movie is Dustin Hoffman. I absolutely loved him in his role and he portrayed his character extremely well. Also look out for a small part by Mackenzie Crook as the usher of the theater.

The storytelling of the movie is magnificent and is what makes "Finding Neverland" one of the best dramas of the past couple of years. It's a movie that will make you smile and perhaps also even cry. It's a movie that works extremely well on an emotional level as well as on an entertainment level. It perfectly mixes the hard reality of the real world with the bittersweet elements of the 'no-worries' imaginative world.

A real must see.

10/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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