Movie Review: Pleasantville

Gary Ross’ Pleasantville (B) transports two 1990’s teens (Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon) into an alternate 1950’s sitcom reality, and the mores of the four passing decades get a dose of parody and pathos in a story that blends drama and comedy. Although quite entertaining, it pales a bit in comparison to the similarly themed Back to the Future. It is lifted by a supporting performance by Joan Allen as a mom who finds unexpected liberation and by quite lovely effects morphing a color and black and white world into vivid existence.

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 1998

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