Nothing is as simple as black & white
Nothing is as simple as black & white
D: Gary Ross
New Line (Gary Ross, Jon Kilik, Robert J. Degus & Steven Soderbergh)
US 1998
124 mins


W: Gary Ross
DP: John Lindley
Ed: William Goldenberg
Mus: Randy Newman
PD: Jeannine Oppewall
Cos: Judianna Makovsky

Tobey Maguire (David/Bud), Jeff Daniels (Bill Johnson), Joan Allen (Betty Parker), William H. Macy (George Parker), J.T. Walsh (Big Bob), Reese Witherspoon (Jennifer/Mary Sue)

A controversial opinion perhaps, but Pleasantville isn't as pleasant as it likes to think it is, or as clever. For me, this is liberal propaganda dressed up as a family film. 
This allegorical fantasy sees a pair of 90's suburban teenagers, a brother & sister, magically transported into the world of 1950's TV show in which they gradually bring colour into the black & white universe of the fictional town.
The film suffers by not deciding whether it's a comedy or drama and tries to balance between both, which doesn't really work towards the end of the film. It also doesn't have much plot for its premise and instead decides to ram its obvious message of racial desegregation and social justice values right down the viewer's throat. 
There's a couple of clever moments, but it lacks any true magic and opts for incidental moments without any real answers. 

Joan Allen & Tobey Maguire in Pleasantville
Joan Allen & Tobey Maguire in Pleasantville