“A tramp masquerading as some sort of social secretary.”

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day  (2008)

I got here via “If I Didn’t Care” on Spotify. It was one of the few 1930s songs on a “Jazz from 1930-1950s” station (lots of Nina Simone who, though wonderful, was born in the thirties).

This movie is like a play. I could have sworn it was adapted from a play, the way there seem to be three major sets that people move in and out of; the way there seem to be three main acts; the way Lee Pace seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself. But it was never a play. Just a book and a film.

But Frances McDormand is wonderful and just won another Oscar. “As a vicar’s daughter, I found her rather difficult.” True story: we have a beer named Tipsy Vicar, and I’d say about 35% of Americans pronounce it VI-car. It’s vicker.

Edythe Dubarry, Moaning Myrtle, on making over Mrs. Pettigrew: “Hang it all, the bone structure’s there. Why the devil not?”

These cucumbers slices, and a few martini olives, are all she has to eat that day.

Lee Pace tried to steal a diamond from the Tower of London. “Thirty days bread and water.”

I love how charmed and delighted Mrs. Pettigrew is when Michael arrives on the scene:

“He is…”



The Birth of Venus recreation: “You are beautiful, Delysia.”

Tipsy Mrs. Pettigrew! “Now, Phillip, how are your deliberations over Pile on the Pepper proceeding?”

“They don’t remember the last one.”

Finally, London rain.

“You have lost a man who loves you for who you are, not for who you pretend to be…I am an expert on the lack of love.”

And a London cabbie.

“This is all I own, Guinevere. And two dozen pair of shoes. For all the fancy apartments and fashion shows, do you know how close I am to having nothing?”

Change of program: “If I Didn’t Care.”

Ah, and the very London early morning walk home from the bar, when it’s completely light at 5 a.m.

Is Delysia pausing because she’s too sad to say goodbye, or is it because she’s just realized she can’t pay Mrs. Pettigrew?

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