8
Nov 04

You cannot libel the dead.

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You cannot libel the dead. Which is why it always suprises me that bio-pics are often completely reverantial towards their subject. For example Finding Neverland is a film designed to rehabilitate the reputation of a man whose reputation is, since his death, primarily for writing a children?s classic. I am not aware of anyone who refuses to countenance Peter Pan?s literary status by suggesting that the whole play is sullied by JM Barrie dicking around with another woman and her kids during its gestation. As a rehabilitation to people who are unaware of the original minor society page scandal it is wholly successful. Mainly because the film takes enough liberties with the story to make James Barrie seems innocent. That is after all its job. (Liberties like killing off the woman’s husband who was actually alive for some of the time…)

Oh, look out for Ian Hart playing JM Barrie?s cricket mate. At least that?s his role in the book. In the credits he turns out to be Arthur Conan Doyle. It might account for his perceptiveness. But oddly according to Finding Neverland, Doyle is just a bit part in Barrie’s life.

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