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Pleasantville

Director/Ross:Gary Ross
New Line; PG-13; 116 minutes
Release:10/98
Cast:Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, J.T. Walsh, Don Knotts, Marley Shelton, Jane Kaczmarek and Reese Witherspoon

The effects are dazzling, and to achieve them was a grueling process for the director and editor. But the innovation and inspiration stop there in this high concept film. This ain't no Truman Show. Trying to lessen the sting of living in a broken home, David (Maguire) loses himself in reruns of a 1950s black-and-whtie sitcom, Pleasantville, where dad walks through the door with a big smile and open arms. David's twin, Jennifer (Witherspoon), handles her pain differently and looks to boys for comfort. When they're magically transported back in time and into the show, David thinks it's swell and Jennifer can't believe she's living among such nerds. As David and Jennifer enlighten Pleasantville's inhabitants, the characters become colorized, leaving only the conservative resistors in black and white. Joan Allen's performance is perfection. She may win that much-deserved Oscar after all.


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