Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2007)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 18-Sep-2008

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Director
Featurette-Miss Pettigrew’s Long Trip to Hollywood
Featurette-Making Of-Making An Unforgettable Day
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 87:56 (Case: 92)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (59:31) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Bharat Nalluri

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Amy Adams
Shirley Henderson
Frances McDormand
Ciarán Hinds
Lee Pace
Tom Payne
Mark Strong
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Paul Englishby

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    In London, with the second world war rapidly approaching, Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) finds herself on the street after losing yet another governess job. It may come as a surprise to Miss Pettigrew, but her stubborn attitude and sharp tongue aren't well suited to the job - alas it is the only one she knows. Her employment agency have had enough of her and as they show her the door, she secretly nabs the details of an upcoming job with the intent to poach the position for herself. Upon arriving she quickly discovers that she hasn't nabbed the job of a governess, but that of a personal assistant to an up-and-coming starlet, Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams). Thankfully for Miss Pettigrew, looking after a starlet is not so far removed to managing children - only far more unpredictable.

    Miss Pettigrew's new duties are relatively straight-forward, keep the three men that Delysia is romancing away from one another and navigate the world of society and fashion on behalf of the naive young American. Perhaps it would be easier if Delysia's would-be West End producer boyfriend (Tom Payne) wasn't the guest of honour at a party held at her wealthy club owner boyfriend's (Mark Strong) apartment, where her talented pianist boyfriend (Lee Pace) is due to play. On top of all this, Delysia's fairweather socialite friend (an acid-tongued Shirley Henderson) is looking to blackmail Miss Pettigrew to have her win the affection of dapper fashion Joe (Ciaran Hinds). All in all, this is going to be a long first day for Guinevere Pettigrew.

    Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day is based on a classic Winifred Watson novel that was first released in 1935. The film rights have bounced around for decades, ever since the novel's initial release, but this is the first film to be made from the book. The story stands up surprisingly well today, in large part because the novel told a story that captured all the insecurities and excesses of society that other novels of the day steered away from, which are virtually the same excesses we see splashed across tabloids today, and did so with a biting sense of humour. This is certainly not a stuffy period drama. This is a riotous romp that moves at such a cracking pace it is impossible to lose interest in.

    The characters are each beautifully constructed, surprisingly so given the brisk pace of the film, and the style of humour complements them well. The film manages to both make us laugh at each of the characters, their lifestyles and their view of the world, and respect them to a reasonable extent. Movies with such sharp satire that manage to avoid ridculing their characters are few and far between and deserve significant kudos.

    I watched Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day with great trepidation, having been convinced it was worth a look based on its generally solid cast and, largely, to appease the lady of the house. The film genuinely took me by surprise with its vibrant story and timeless laughs. Enough so that the DVD, became an unexpected must-have. Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day is a solid comedy that captures a period feel without being bogged down by it.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is a fairly soft, noticeably softer than the theatrical presentation of the film, but not unwatchable by any means. Shadows are a little washed out, but contain a good level of detail. Mild film grain is present.

    The colour in the video is slightly pale, but well balanced.

    No compression artefacts or film artefacts are noticeable in the transfer.

    English subtitles for the hearing impaired are present for the feature. Based on the portion I sampled they appear to be accurate and well timed.

    This is a RSDL disc. The layer break occurs at 59:31 but was not noticeable on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    A single English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) audio track is present for the film.

    The audio quality is good without being exceptional.

    The dialogue is clearly audible at all times and there are no issues with audio/video synchronisation.

    Paul Englishby provides a sharp big band jazz soundtrack that helps immensely in moving the film along at a lightening pace. It is both catchy and very appropriate.

    The surround channels are used modestly to create a subtly immersive sound field. There is nothing flashy about the sound design, but this isn't the sort of film that calls for a great deal of surround use. The subwoofer is barely used, but barely called for.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Miss Pettigrew’s Long Trip to Hollywood Featurette (8:04)

    A relatively short featurette that explains the long history of attempts to film the classic novel that this film is based on. This surprisingly intresting featurette manages to chart decades of Hollywood politics, business practice and legal mumbo jumbo in a matter of minutes and make it surprisingly engaging.

Making An Unforgettable Day Featurette (18:23)

    A fairly run-of-the-mill press kit "making of" featurette that sells the film as much as explain its production. That said, as far as these sort of featurettes go this is a particularly interesting one. There are plenty of cast and crew interviews and all the participants appear to have something worthwhile to say.

Deleted Scenes (8:58)

    A series of deleted and altered scenes. Some of these scenes change the dynamics of the film and its characters substantially. Others appear to have been trimmed for timing. Interesting stuff, but would be more interesting with commentary.

Audio Commentary with Director Bharat Nalluri

    A fairly informative, though occasionally a little too technical commentary. Not an essential listen, but a worthwhile one for fans.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 edition of Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day includes a French audio track for the film, but is otherwise identical to the Region 4 release save for PAL/NTSC differences. This one is a draw, unless French audio is on your must-have list.


    A fast-paced romp that will surprise many viewers, particularly those growing tired of formulaic chick flicks.

    The video and audio are decent, without being particularly remarkable. The disc includes a modest number of high quality extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Director / Starring / Music don't match... - Tony R (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...) REPLY POSTED