Genre Grandeur – Pleasantville (1998) – MovieRob


For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Dystopian Movies, here’s a review of Pleasantville (1998) by me

Thanks again to James of Back to the Viewer for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by S.G. Liput of Rhyme and Reason.  We will be reviewing our favorite fantasy/sci-fi animated movies (non-Disney or Pixar) . Please get me your submissions by 25th May by sending them to  Try to think out of the box! Great choice S.G.!

Let’s see what I thought of this movie:

pleasantville“Up until now everything around here has been, well, pleasant. Recently certain things have become unpleasant. Now, it seems to me that the first thing we have to do is to separate out the things that are pleasant from the things that are unpleasant.” – Big Bob

Number of Times Seen – At least 5 times (Theater in ’98, cable, DVD and 28 Apr 2015)

Brief Synopsis – When a boy  who is obsessed with an old happy-go-lucky TV show from the 1950’s and his sister somehow get stuck IN the world of the show, they must try and get home before they end up destroying the “perfect” little town

My Take on it – Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the perfect  world of some of the TV shows of the 1950’s and 60’s?

This movie does just that, we are transported (along with two kids) into the world governed by “jee-whiz” and “aw shucks”.

It does a great job of both parodying and perfectly using the aspects that we know of this kind of world via shows like Leave it to Beaver or Father Knows Best.

Many of the scenes are so funny to watch because we know how right the film makers got it.

After showing us how this world works, we are they shown how it can be changed by the characters starting to feel and have emotional tendencies to their normally mundane lives that soon start to get some purpose via their two new visitors.

How would a society react to such change and would it remain calm?

To show us the changes in this “world”, this movie uses black and white vs. colorization to an amazing effect.

I’m certain without a doubt that it was a VERY difficult and pain staking process to deal with that aspect of this movie, but the end result is worth it because they do manage to expertly utilize this “effect”

Fun to see Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire in the lead roles and Joan Allen, Jeff Daniel, JT Walsh and William H. Macy are all superb as wholesome characters who begin to notice distinct changes in their world

Bottom Line – Great story about what can happen when a society that is oppressed from thinking and having emotions, starts to have an internal revolution that changes the way that the whole town sees things.  Love how they utilize and also parody TV from the 50’s and 60’s in order to show life as it is and how it should be.  The black and white – color aspects are amazingly used here despite it probably being quite painstaking to achieve. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Since every scene from the middle of the movie on had to be in some way digitally changed to have black and white characters interact with characters who are in color, technically this film had the most digital effects shots until Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy


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10 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Pleasantville (1998) – MovieRob

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  6. Pingback: Pleasantville (1998) – Encore Review | MovieRob

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