Pleasantville – Zu schön, um wahr zu sein (1998)

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Pleasantville – Zu schön, um wahr zu sein: Directed by Gary Ross. With William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Natalie Ramsey, Kevin Connors. Two 1990s teenage siblings find themselves in a 1950s sitcom, where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.

“Some critics here are saying the movie takes itself too seriously – but I believe some people are taking it too literally. … Saying that the topics that are addressed have no impact on society anymore, clearly misses the point. … The 50s — or more specifically, 50s TV — is used as a metaphor, because of the way 50s TV portrayed life in America. … Thematically, this movie is about u0026quot;Living Lifeu0026quot; to the fullest, whatever that means. More specifically, to live life to the fullest — to truly feel u0026quot;aliveu0026quot; — you need to take the good with the bad. Sweeping things under the rug and just acting u0026quot;pleasantu0026quot; all the time, is no way to live. Thatu0026#39;s what Tobey McGuireu0026#39;s speech at the end to his u0026quot;realu0026quot; mother is all about. Bad things happen, itu0026#39;s part of life. Having passion brings with it positives and negatives — but suppressing true feelings for the sake of u0026quot;pleasantnessu0026quot; is an empty life. THAT is the key … and that u0026quot;issueu0026quot; is everlasting to the human condition. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAnother point: People fear change. This is universal from the start of time until the end of time. The film suggests that changing and growing as a society and as people — even if scary — is good. Just because the 50s were used as a metaphor for that, donu0026#39;t believe for a minute this isnu0026#39;t a universal issue that exists today and forever.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAnother issue common for people critical of this film is the sexual issue. They say that Gary Ross is promoting sexual promiscuity, sex out of wedlock, etc… Again, I believe it misses the point. Is Ross suggesting that premarital sex is OK? Yes, and Iu0026#39;d agree – and Iu0026#39;m sure thereu0026#39;s plenty of people who donu0026#39;t agree with that, and thatu0026#39;s OK too. But, again, the sex is just part of the theme – used as a high-profile example to making the overall point about u0026quot;opennessu0026quot; – and not suppressing oneu0026#39;s feelings. Note that the Reese Witherspoon character was already promiscuous, and her transformation was actually something completely different.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI canu0026#39;t make everyone like this film – Iu0026#39;ll just say that, on a personal note, I was so floored by this film, I had to see it again the next day. That had never happened to me before, or since. Rossu0026#39; commentary goes on to speak of everything I felt about the film when I first saw it. It was great to hear that his reasons for what he did, meshed exactly with how I took it. I had to write him a letter to tell him so – another thing Iu0026#39;d never done before or since.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis is not a perfect film. I liked its subtlety, but then the racism correlation, and the censorship stuff, got a bit more overt. The courtroom scene at the end is a bit cliche … and I also agree with one poster who said that, to make the point about taking the good with the bad, we shouldu0026#39;ve seen a bit more about the consequences of their actions.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003enThose are merely nitpicks in the grand scheme of things. This is a 10 out of 10.”


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