Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day


STARRING: Frances McDormand, Amy Adams

The lowdown: from left, Adams and McDormand

It may take a minute to relax into its baroque rhythms but Miss Pettigrew the out-of-work governess (McDormand) and Miss Pettigrew the movie are a delicious fit. As chic as a runway show, this frisky adaptation of Winifred Watson’s 1938 novel is the good-time story of Guinevere Pettigrew’s rags-to-riches escapade.


Unjustly fired, homeless and skint, Miss P bluffs her maidenly way into the job of social secretary for kittenish American singer and aspiring star Delysia Lafosse (Adams). World War II is looming and the London newspapers are abuzz with Hitlerian business. But you would never know it inside Delysia’s gilded-cage apartment, a spread as impossibly opulent as the lady’s seemingly delectable life. And yet all is not as it seems: like Miss Pettigrew, Delysia is a self-made creation, teetering on a crystal brink. Both women need to keep their wits about them in life and in love, and watching them in action over one whirlwind day is as sweet and fluffy as a chocolate soufflé.