Pleasantville Reviews

  • May 07, 2021

    I don't know what to say, it was just good.

    I don't know what to say, it was just good.

  • Mar 22, 2021

    It's a great movie. Very creative. I think there should be a remake

    It's a great movie. Very creative. I think there should be a remake

  • Feb 16, 2021

    The funniest movie about a 1950s sitcom house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The funniest movie about a 1950s sitcom house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dec 06, 2020

    Tobey Maguire stars as David. In this comedy/drama, Pleasantville, David and Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) try to help people in the town of Pleasantville discover their passions, interests and better versions of themselves, which turns them from black and white to color. However, when Big Bob (J.T Walsh) the mayor of Pleasantville, views these changes as a threat to Pleasantville he places bans on "colored" people and on people expressing themselves. Therefore, David and Jennifer must show the non-colored people that it's healthy and important to express themselves, and that it doesn't affect the town in a negative way. The performance standouts were Jeff Daniels, who played Bill Johnson, a soda shop owner, as he portrayed being fascinated by the idea of not having a routine to follow everyday, very well. His performance helps with the worldbuilding of this universe, which shows the viewer how, almost depressing, this world is, because these people don't know about how to live their best lives. It helps humanize these people that you think are just extras in a TV show. Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon play as brother and sister, their characters get flushed out properly, and each go through their own arc which is portrayed well by both actors. The character development that David and Jennifer have helps make you relate more to them, and it works so well because of their performance. The soundtrack to Pleasantville adds a lot to the storytelling. In most of the scenes with the black and white characters, old 50s music is accompanied by the scene. In contrast, when there are scenes with the "colored" people there is more upbeat, jazzy music in the background of the scene. It subtly reminds the viewer the current state of the characters in the scene, and while it's significance is small it is very effective with the storytelling of the film. In some scenes, there are "colored" people interacting with an edited black and white setting, which was mostly done well, but sometimes it wasn't done properly and was distracting from the scene. This movie is so genius because of its use of symbolism. The movie symbolizes so many heavy topics like Adam and Eve, racism and The Nazi Invasion, to name a few, in such a seemingless harmless movie. This movie seems like such a fun comedy on the outside, which it still is, but because of its hidden layers it can leave viewers thinking about it for days, like me. Due to its good pace, comedic moments, wonderful storytelling and message this film should be an enjoyable watch for all audiences. However, if you don't understand the hidden meanings of the movie, it's understandable that some could dislike the film. In conclusion, this film's positives greatly outweigh the negative. This film reminds viewers not to always watch movies at face value, which is important. Also, with great performances, symbolism, editing, storytelling and worldbuilding there is too much of this movie to like. Pleasantville gets a (4.5/5). If you are looking for an enjoyable film to watch with your family, you shouldn't look any further than here.

    Tobey Maguire stars as David. In this comedy/drama, Pleasantville, David and Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) try to help people in the town of Pleasantville discover their passions, interests and better versions of themselves, which turns them from black and white to color. However, when Big Bob (J.T Walsh) the mayor of Pleasantville, views these changes as a threat to Pleasantville he places bans on "colored" people and on people expressing themselves. Therefore, David and Jennifer must show the non-colored people that it's healthy and important to express themselves, and that it doesn't affect the town in a negative way. The performance standouts were Jeff Daniels, who played Bill Johnson, a soda shop owner, as he portrayed being fascinated by the idea of not having a routine to follow everyday, very well. His performance helps with the worldbuilding of this universe, which shows the viewer how, almost depressing, this world is, because these people don't know about how to live their best lives. It helps humanize these people that you think are just extras in a TV show. Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon play as brother and sister, their characters get flushed out properly, and each go through their own arc which is portrayed well by both actors. The character development that David and Jennifer have helps make you relate more to them, and it works so well because of their performance. The soundtrack to Pleasantville adds a lot to the storytelling. In most of the scenes with the black and white characters, old 50s music is accompanied by the scene. In contrast, when there are scenes with the "colored" people there is more upbeat, jazzy music in the background of the scene. It subtly reminds the viewer the current state of the characters in the scene, and while it's significance is small it is very effective with the storytelling of the film. In some scenes, there are "colored" people interacting with an edited black and white setting, which was mostly done well, but sometimes it wasn't done properly and was distracting from the scene. This movie is so genius because of its use of symbolism. The movie symbolizes so many heavy topics like Adam and Eve, racism and The Nazi Invasion, to name a few, in such a seemingless harmless movie. This movie seems like such a fun comedy on the outside, which it still is, but because of its hidden layers it can leave viewers thinking about it for days, like me. Due to its good pace, comedic moments, wonderful storytelling and message this film should be an enjoyable watch for all audiences. However, if you don't understand the hidden meanings of the movie, it's understandable that some could dislike the film. In conclusion, this film's positives greatly outweigh the negative. This film reminds viewers not to always watch movies at face value, which is important. Also, with great performances, symbolism, editing, storytelling and worldbuilding there is too much of this movie to like. Pleasantville gets a (4.5/5). If you are looking for an enjoyable film to watch with your family, you shouldn't look any further than here.

  • Nov 01, 2020

    Pleasantville was a great movie with tons of meaningful symbolism.

    Pleasantville was a great movie with tons of meaningful symbolism.

  • Oct 03, 2020

    A kid who watches a lot of old TV is pulled into a sitcom with his sister disrupting the premise of the show and turning it to color.

    A kid who watches a lot of old TV is pulled into a sitcom with his sister disrupting the premise of the show and turning it to color.

  • Sep 10, 2020

    It could be an amazing film, but the tone is all over the place in the last third and it's rushed.

    It could be an amazing film, but the tone is all over the place in the last third and it's rushed.

  • Aug 24, 2020

    A poignant reminder to progress and resist repression. Gary Ross' black and white fantasy satire Pleasantville (1998) is a clever social commentary comedy-drama. Ross' creative direction utilizes colors as metaphors for those who live in the black and white past with nostalgia for a 1950's American life of conformity and racism. Whereas, the rest live in vivid color representing independence, creativeing, freedom, love, acceptance, tolerance. His writing presents feminist agency and racial understanding in a way few Hollywood dare to say. Gary Ross' writing is sharp and biting in his social commentary and playful dialogue, but it's his authentic desire for peaceful progressive ideas and lifestyles that is so gripping and earnest here in Pleasantville. Ross' direction is so stunningly creative and heartfelt that I was genuinely touched at his sincere script and story. His tender affection for breaking free from stifling repression is fascinating in Pleasantville that makes a laughing stock out of Leave It to Beaver, I Love Lucy, and other nuclear age television programs. American life can be progressive and change in positive ways. It all depends on your perspective. Gary Ross' storytelling is so subtle and fun for Pleasantville that you'll just have a great time feeling and learning while you watch. William Goldenberg's editing is swift and precise, splicing together color and monochromatic footage seamlessly. His smooth cuts allow scenes to play out in warm and riveting ways for a pleasant 124 minutes that does not feel that long. John Lindley's black and white cinematography is amazing as you are treated to a myriad of lovely wide shots and breathtaking close-ups of tears, eyes, lips, and faces. Chris Watts and his team's special effects are mind blowing as they consider new and intriguing ways to show splashes of color in a black and white world. The tree on fire in the black and white front lawn is jaw dropping like the flower petals in the rain. Judianna Makovsky's costumes are cute and retro in an authentically 50's style. I must mention Susan A. Cabral and Werner Keppler's creative use of make-up. Both the plush pink blush of the 50's and the stark black and white painted make-up look remarkable. I love all the gritty, grungy looks for the 1990's as well that feels so real. Tobey Maguire delivers his finest dramatic performance as David in Pleasantville as he earnestly adores this old show, while desperately wanting a loving life of his own. His conflicted facial acting depicts his torn feelings over the ethics of changing an old world versus the value of freedom from repression and personal agency for these figures. Maguire's nerdy archetype has fun chemistry with the dreamy Marley Shelton as Margaret, his sweet girl next door type. Reese Witherspoon is gorgeous and hilarious as Jennifer as she gallavants around this black and white world. Her 90's attitude and sexual freedom are a fun contrast to the sterile, sacrimonious era demonstrated by the show she's sucked into throughout Pleasantville. Witherspoon effortlessly flirts, scoffs, and influences her way through life in a deliriously charming fashion that only Reese can convincingly portray. Joan Allen is moving as a repressed housewife named Betty lusting for love and satisfaction, if she could only speak her mind and look for companionship. Jeff Daniels is equally powerful as an endearing diner owner called Bill desiring a life as a painter. Their chemistry is palpable as Joan Allen and Jeff Daniels are profoundly poignant delivering dramatic acting performances that will affect you. I love their scenes in the diner together. William H. Macy's the ideal opposite of Joan Allen and Jeff Daniels' moving acting as he stoically portrays a dated sexist husband without compassion for his wife's feelings and decisions. Macy is perfectly cast as the foolish father and unfeeling husband George. J.T. Walsh is fantastic in his final role as the cruel conservative man Big Bob, who represents all the hatred, anger, racism, sexism, and perpetual sameness. His unwillingness to see the colors of life is shocking and his acting is fearsomely similar to conservative talking points you still hear today about harkening back to a supposedly idyllic life back in the 1950's when men were on top of everyone. Don Knotts has a funny cameo as the "TV Repairman" with all the control and answers with his persistent desire for a world that's gone. His not understanding that things change is particularly interesting in the context of Pleasantville. Young Paul Walker and Maggie Lawson have cute cameos in their supporting roles as Skip and Lisa Anne too I should mention. Lastly, Randy Newman's score is lovely with a gentle, dreamy quality that cuddles the soft nostalgic world on screen with the undeniable power of genuine ideals in its words and message. Pleasantville, in short, is a dreamy film of imaginative direction, splendid special effects, and heartfelt acting that I think still resonates strongly for our current times.

    A poignant reminder to progress and resist repression. Gary Ross' black and white fantasy satire Pleasantville (1998) is a clever social commentary comedy-drama. Ross' creative direction utilizes colors as metaphors for those who live in the black and white past with nostalgia for a 1950's American life of conformity and racism. Whereas, the rest live in vivid color representing independence, creativeing, freedom, love, acceptance, tolerance. His writing presents feminist agency and racial understanding in a way few Hollywood dare to say. Gary Ross' writing is sharp and biting in his social commentary and playful dialogue, but it's his authentic desire for peaceful progressive ideas and lifestyles that is so gripping and earnest here in Pleasantville. Ross' direction is so stunningly creative and heartfelt that I was genuinely touched at his sincere script and story. His tender affection for breaking free from stifling repression is fascinating in Pleasantville that makes a laughing stock out of Leave It to Beaver, I Love Lucy, and other nuclear age television programs. American life can be progressive and change in positive ways. It all depends on your perspective. Gary Ross' storytelling is so subtle and fun for Pleasantville that you'll just have a great time feeling and learning while you watch. William Goldenberg's editing is swift and precise, splicing together color and monochromatic footage seamlessly. His smooth cuts allow scenes to play out in warm and riveting ways for a pleasant 124 minutes that does not feel that long. John Lindley's black and white cinematography is amazing as you are treated to a myriad of lovely wide shots and breathtaking close-ups of tears, eyes, lips, and faces. Chris Watts and his team's special effects are mind blowing as they consider new and intriguing ways to show splashes of color in a black and white world. The tree on fire in the black and white front lawn is jaw dropping like the flower petals in the rain. Judianna Makovsky's costumes are cute and retro in an authentically 50's style. I must mention Susan A. Cabral and Werner Keppler's creative use of make-up. Both the plush pink blush of the 50's and the stark black and white painted make-up look remarkable. I love all the gritty, grungy looks for the 1990's as well that feels so real. Tobey Maguire delivers his finest dramatic performance as David in Pleasantville as he earnestly adores this old show, while desperately wanting a loving life of his own. His conflicted facial acting depicts his torn feelings over the ethics of changing an old world versus the value of freedom from repression and personal agency for these figures. Maguire's nerdy archetype has fun chemistry with the dreamy Marley Shelton as Margaret, his sweet girl next door type. Reese Witherspoon is gorgeous and hilarious as Jennifer as she gallavants around this black and white world. Her 90's attitude and sexual freedom are a fun contrast to the sterile, sacrimonious era demonstrated by the show she's sucked into throughout Pleasantville. Witherspoon effortlessly flirts, scoffs, and influences her way through life in a deliriously charming fashion that only Reese can convincingly portray. Joan Allen is moving as a repressed housewife named Betty lusting for love and satisfaction, if she could only speak her mind and look for companionship. Jeff Daniels is equally powerful as an endearing diner owner called Bill desiring a life as a painter. Their chemistry is palpable as Joan Allen and Jeff Daniels are profoundly poignant delivering dramatic acting performances that will affect you. I love their scenes in the diner together. William H. Macy's the ideal opposite of Joan Allen and Jeff Daniels' moving acting as he stoically portrays a dated sexist husband without compassion for his wife's feelings and decisions. Macy is perfectly cast as the foolish father and unfeeling husband George. J.T. Walsh is fantastic in his final role as the cruel conservative man Big Bob, who represents all the hatred, anger, racism, sexism, and perpetual sameness. His unwillingness to see the colors of life is shocking and his acting is fearsomely similar to conservative talking points you still hear today about harkening back to a supposedly idyllic life back in the 1950's when men were on top of everyone. Don Knotts has a funny cameo as the "TV Repairman" with all the control and answers with his persistent desire for a world that's gone. His not understanding that things change is particularly interesting in the context of Pleasantville. Young Paul Walker and Maggie Lawson have cute cameos in their supporting roles as Skip and Lisa Anne too I should mention. Lastly, Randy Newman's score is lovely with a gentle, dreamy quality that cuddles the soft nostalgic world on screen with the undeniable power of genuine ideals in its words and message. Pleasantville, in short, is a dreamy film of imaginative direction, splendid special effects, and heartfelt acting that I think still resonates strongly for our current times.

  • Aug 22, 2020

    an entertaining film with a good plot and hilarious moments with a gripping question: is a society where bad things happen better than a society where nothing happens? only problem is the love triangle is bad and the villain's defeat is anti-climatic.

    an entertaining film with a good plot and hilarious moments with a gripping question: is a society where bad things happen better than a society where nothing happens? only problem is the love triangle is bad and the villain's defeat is anti-climatic.

  • Aug 15, 2020

    the metaphor here is simple, yet is truly powerful. All in all this movie was a gem

    the metaphor here is simple, yet is truly powerful. All in all this movie was a gem