Pollyanna (2003) Review
See there, on the cover of the DVD, a comment of 'the Daily Mail.' They say it's 'dramatic and heartwarming.' Well. it's not. It's not dramatic, that is - it's definitely heartwarming, but not dramatic. It's the kind of fuzzy, happy, sweet, 'ahhhh' and everyone-in-the-family-enjoys-it-except-your-picky-older-brother kind of movie. But it's not really dramatic, in my opinion. But that's entirely besides the point.
Pollyanna is this delightful story about yet-another-bossy-aunt and yet-another-freckled-orphan. And to be honest, such stories never grow old. I could read fifty other books about chatty orphans going to strict people and then only perhaps would the idea start wearing off me. It's just a lovely, darling story.
The 2003 version is not a famous version, don't ask me why. I haven't seen the famous one, the Disney Hayley Mills one (since I was about six), but I know that this version will always have a special place in my heart. It's just SO adorable. Just SO sweet. It's not perfect (few things are, you know) but it's just so oh-please-see-it-so-we-can-talk-about-it-together. (Gosh, I seem to do a lot of those word-word-word things. I guess I'm in that kind of mood.)
Anyway, let's get to the review.
So you all know the story, right?
I know you do, but then you might not, so here's a synopsis à la myself. So Pollyanna, a talkative girl with the positive-est attitude a person ever had, after the loss of her father, finds herself an orphan on her way to live with her Aunt Polly, who's the kind of cliché-book-aunt, only prettier. Nancy, the blonde maid loves Pollyanna immediately, but Aunt Polly shows little love. Pollyanna doesn't notice that, and treats all her punishments as rare treats. It's hilarious. Then Pollyanna meets old Mr Pendleton, an old scruffy mysterious man, and matches him with Aunt Polly, thinking they were lovers in their youth. But it ain't so, and Pollyanna has more girlish adventures along the way of finding her aunts old lover, which includes an injury, calfs-foot-jelly and a beggar boy called Jimmy Bean.
There, what a synopsis! I'm dashed proud. :-P
I've not a clue what the actress-who-played-Pollyanna (there I did that again)'s name is, but she did a pretty good job. Sometimes I thought she kind of just SAID her lines, but then I realised the way she did it was SO Pollyanna-ish, and I perished the thought. Pollyanna was such a darling. It's like, she's SO sweet that it's almost depressing. :-)
She had red hair. In the book she was a dirty blonde. Yeah. 'Tis nothing.
What I love the most about Pollyanna is her glad-game. It's so adorable, how she teaches it to random city-people. In the book however, she continues to play her glad-game (which is a game where one finds something happy in everything that passes your life and it all started when she got a pair of crutches for her birthday and...) when she's injured, but in the movie she gives up and says that there's nothing good about being crippled. I didn't mind the non-book-accuracy, because I loved the way they did everything, and how city-people came to Aunt Polly telling her to tell Pollyanna how they were playing her game.
Oh, and THERE'S A SCENE WHERE POLLYANNA READS PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. It made me squeal soooo.
Ugghghghg. Aunt Polly is SUCH a mean bean. Honestly, I really admire Pollyanna for being so positive about her. I would have just felt like pouring maple syrup over that stiff, frown-y head of hers.
But in the end she's nicer, of course. And her Edwardian hats and blouses and skirts are very elegant indeed, they are. Amanda Burton did a good job. I loved how she found Pollyanna's energetic-ism so tiring. At one point Pollyanna was doing her lessons, reading something loudly and with great gusto (not P&P, that was another scene) and Aunt Polly mobbed her forehead with a white hanky and murmured, 'I didn't know being read to was so tiring.'
And she and the doctor... so sweet.
I loved how they portrayed Nancy in here! I'm kind of glad they didn't make her like the weird, Cockney, kind of empty-headed Nancy in the book. She was very pretty and kind and graceful and had a beautiful golden kind of voice which I'd love to possess. And you know what they did in the movie? They put in a Nancy-romance! Yes!
The romance between Nancy and the servant Tim was SO ADORABLE. I personally didn't care that much for Tim, but yet it was adorable. My favourite scenes were the Nancy-Tim ones, I must admit. I told you I have this thing for romantic scenes.
Tim, as I said, was not someone I'd rave over, but he was a great character. Boyish, funny, a bit bashful, always talking about machines (which bored the ladies to death). My favourite non-Nancy part with him was where he tried to convince his mistress to buy a car.
Tim: 'I was just telling your lovely Pollyanna that the motorcar is the future.'
Aunt Polly: 'I seem to remember you once telling me the Titanic was the future.'
He was so funny, the way he kept on talking about the motorcar.
Mr Pendleton. He was sour and cross, just like he should have been. Kenneth Cranham did a very good job indeed. I loved it when he adopts Pollyanna's orphan beggar friend, Jimmy Bean (who's SUCH a sweet boy, by the way). Their relationship was so cute.
Mr Pendleton: "Go to your room, Jimmy."
Jimmy Bean: "Which one?"
Pam Ferris as Mrs White! Her scenes were hilarious. Pollyanna knows exactly how to change her life attitude. And oh, the WAY she plays the glad game. I MUST quote.
Pollyanna: Here's another one- this one happened to me. A fair is coming to the village but it rained a lot so nobody can go.
Mrs White: I would be glad because.... everyone else would get wet besides me because I was confined to bed.
Pollyanna: That's not playing the game right.
Mrs White: Oh. I would be glad because.... let me think.... because the next time it came everyone would enjoy it more because they hadn't been there for the last time!
Pollyanna: Yes, exactly!
I . LOVED . THE . DOCTOR .
Doctor Chilton was so kind, so handsome, so sympathetic. I don't think Aunt Polly was good enough for him actually. My favourite doctor Chilton quote was, 'I'm doctor Chilton. The good one.' and, 'I hear you've cheered up Mrs White. She's also one of my less giggly patients.'
There's a deplorable lack of pictures of this movie. Honestly, why is this version so un-famous?
Here is a list of some other things I liked about this movie:
~ Mr Collins was in it! David Bamber was in it, that is to say. He was a pastor, again. He was very nice in here, I liked him - especially when he said how unsuitable he found the idea of Sunday school on a Monday. And when he picked up Pollyanna's dog and played with him.
~ Nancy's blue bowed hat.
~ The bunch of roses Tim gives to Nancy under the washing line.
~ When doctor Chilton tells Pollyanna in a dreamy way that, 'It was I who loved your Aunt Polly.'
~ The wedding at the end!!!
~ The way Tim tells Pollyanna who he is. 'I'm the odd-tasks-servant; Tim. My father's the gardener; Tom.' (He has very funny facial expressions as he says these things. Go watch it and you'll see what I mean.)
~ THE WAY POLLYANNA LOVES HER PUNISHMENTS. Hahahaha.
The scenery: Very Edwardian-ish and lovely. I especially thought Mr Pendleton's garden nice, and the village.
The costumes: Very good. Historically accurate, and very beautiful.
The quotes: As you might have gathered from the review, there are so many lovely, funny, just-must-quote quotes in here.
Objectionable content: NONE. None vatsoever, as the gentleman said when his... oh never mind. I was trying to find something really funny to say the way Sam Weller does in 'the Pickwick Papers.' But I didn't really succeed, haha.
Anyway. Please watch this, come back here, and we'll talk about it in the comments. And if you have seen it, I'm delighted! Let's talk about it right now. :-)
On a sidenote, what do you think of my new design? I know it's still winter, and it's not as if I'm yearning for Spring (I LOVE winter, you know), but I just felt like trying something different. I know. Again. Anyway, what do you think? Oh, and don't you think it looks like Anne Steel (on the header) has nothing in her sleeves? Ewww. Creepy.