Pleasantville (1998)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Pleasantville</strong> (1998)

(In theaters, October 1998) Hot on the heels of Gattaca, Dark City and The Truman Show, here’s yet another quirky, imaginative film that truly gives hope for Hollywood’s future. What if those 50s sitcom were real, and you could live in them? What if you could change this universe? Pleasantville takes this rather simple premise and runs with it, delivering a scattershot of social commentary that is, more often that not, on target. Superb acting barely takes precedence over a wonderful use of digital effects to show the changing nature of Pleasantville. Without seeming like it, this is actually one of the most pernicious movies in recent memory; one -er- “flaming” visual pun is so obscene that I’m too ashamed to describe it here. I had problems with several elements the conclusion (Writer/Director Gary Ross wrote himself in a corner) until I rationalized them as Pleasantville‘s way of highlight one of its central thesis; uncertainty must be accepted. (I also have issues with the way that few of the other idealized values of Pleasantville are thought desirable.) Thought-provoking, uplifting and simply very well-done, Pleasantville vaults to the top of this year’s crop. Do not miss it.

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