Finding Neverland (2004) is a drama based on the life of James Mathew Barrie, the author of the classic Peter Pan. Specifically, it is about Barrie’s friendship with the family who inspired him to create Peter Pan.
The story takes place in London in 1904. Barrie’s latest play has failed to impress the audience and he needs something new because his producer is clamouring him a new show, but he is at a loss of inspiration. However, Barrie's fortune changes during one visit to the park where he finds four young boys and their widowed mother Sylvia. Barrie is instantly attracted to the children. During the next months the author plays with the boys daily. He leads them in games involving pirates, cowboys and Indians; he dresses in funny costumes...
Barrie and the Davies family quickly become inseparable. The children like him and Sylvia is grateful for his attention, especially since she has developed an alarming cough and he helps her taking care of the boys. The only holdout is Peter, he is wise and solemn, and he feels the loss of his father more than his brothers. After a while, Sylvia's health worsens. The boys are reassured that nothing serious is wrong, but Peter is sure they are lying to him about her illness, as they did regarding his father disease.
Simultaneously, the whole town is talking about Barrie and the Davies family. With reference to Barrie's wife, Mary, she rarely sees him at home and she is disturbed about his relationship with the Davies family. In addition, Sylvia’s mother is also worried by a man (Barrie) who wants to become the best playmate of her grandchildren. Nevertheless, none of these distractions take Barrie away from the boys, who are his muses.
Their imaginative games give him ideas for a new play. He begins writing once again, and cannot stop. Each new adventure with the Davies clan leads to pages and pages for his new play about a young boy and a visionary place called Neverland. The play’s opening night, Barrie invites 25 orphans and sits them through the audience, where their laugher stirs the adults to see the magic in the later renamed play.
The main actors and actresses of this film are Johnny Depp as Sir James Mathew Barrie, the protagonist of the film; Kate Winslet as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies; and Freddie Highmore as Peter Llewelyn Davies. Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet do a great job. However, from my point of view, the most remarkable performance is the one made by Freddie Highmore as Peter Llewelyn. This character really moved me.
I am of the opinion that Finding Neverland is a story very well told with some charm. Personally, I believe that it’s very emotive, tender and touching. And at the same time very funny. The more I look it, the more I like it. For that reason, I strongly recommend you to see this film. Especially, for those who in a way refuses to grow up, and for those who like fantasy and creativity, because this film is a very good example of it.