Miss Pettigrew Starts Production

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Production began this week on location in the U.K. on Focus Features’ comedy Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, starring Academy Award winner Frances McDormand in the title role. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement.

Nellie Bellflower, an Academy Award nominee as producer of Finding
Neverland
, and Stephen Garrett, an executive producer of Focus’ fall release Eastern Promises, are producing the film. Adapted from a novel by Winifred Watson, the script was written by another Finding Neverland Academy Award nominee, screenwriter David Magee, and Simon Beaufoy, an Academy Award nominee for The Full Monty. The director of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is Bharat Nalluri, who most recently helmed the miniseries “Tsunami: The Aftermath.”

McDormand is executive-producing Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day with Frank Frattaroli and Paul Webster. Focus senior vice president, production Kahli Small is overseeing filming for president of production John Lyons. Focus holds worldwide rights to the Kudos Pictures/Keylight Entertainment production.

Joining McDormand in the cast are Amy Adams (most recently seen in “Talladega Nights,” and an Academy Award nominee last year for Junebug), Ciaran Hinds (who recently wrapped There Will Be Blood), Shirley Henderson (of the “Harry Potter” movies), Lee Pace (a Golden Globe Award nominee for Soldier’s Girl), Mark Strong (currently in Sunshine), and screen newcomer Tom Payne.

In the 1939-set romantic tale, Miss Guinevere Pettigrew (McDormand), a middle-aged London governess, finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse (Adams). Within minutes, Miss Pettigrew finds herself swept into a heady high-society milieu – and, within hours, living it up.

Hinds is cast as Joe, a successful designer whose tenuous engagement to Edythe (Henderson) comes to directly impact on Miss Pettigrew. The men alternately complicating Delysia’s love life and her career are accompanist Michael (Pace), nightclub owner Nick (Strong), and junior impresario Phil (Payne).

Schamus said, “‘Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day’ is a perfect love
story for Focus – sophisticated and heartfelt at the same time, and a tremendous showcase for Fran McDormand, Amy Adams, and their spectacular castmates.”

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