“Pleasantville” Showcases Modern Mores in Bygone Time

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.