Pleasantville (1998)

Basic Summary – Impressed by high school student David’s (Tobey Maguire) devotion to a 1950s family TV show, a mysterious television repairman (Don Knotts) provides him with a means to escape into the black-and-white program with his sister, Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon). While David initially takes to the simplistic, corny world of the show, Jennifer sets about jolting the characters with doses of reality that unexpectedly bring a little color into their drab existence.

I remember seeing this film a long time ago and suddenly it vanished. I couldn’t find it for the longest time until recently. And maybe that is a good thing because now I understand it so much more.

This film is very interesting as it brings together racism, conformity v. breaking social norms, acceptance. I don’t recall seeing a film recently that has done so much and still be relatively good. It is a pretty old film at this point, but I’m proud that I got to see it again. I love the black and white to color effect. It is something rarely done and it looks amazing in this film. The colors are bright when they are shown.

The actors (all pretty well known at this point) are on point in this film. They understand who they are playing and what their role is in the film. The story, though at first when I saw it’s run time, made me understand the town and people in it. I was worried there was going to be a rush through setting up Pleasantville, but thankfully, they went at the right speed for it.

If you haven’t seen or heard of this film, it is worth a watch. Especially if you like any of the actors and actresses. It’s on Netflix for viewing, but I’m not sure how long it will be there.


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