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Pleasantville ★★★½ 1998 (PG-13)

Nerdy David (Maguire) and his slut wanna-be sister Jennifer (Witherspoon) are sucked into the sterile and innocent world of Pleasantville, a 1950s B/W TV show in constant reruns, where they find themselves in the roles of Bud and Mary Sue, the blandly adorable children of George and Betty Parker (Macy and Allen). After Jennifer shows a classmate what lovers' lane is really for, the townspeople begin to lose their innocence; the black-and-white world becomes more colorful as each new human passion is realized. The performances are dead-on, particularly Allen as the sexually awakening mom. The transition from straight comedy to social commentary is adeptly handled. The great character actor J. T. Walsh gives his usual excellent (and sadly, last) performance as the stubborn head of the chamber of commerce bitterly fighting change. 124m/C VHS, DVD . Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, J.T. Walsh, Don Knotts, Paul Walker, Jane Kaczmarek, Marley Shelton; D: Gary Ross; W: Gary Ross; C: John Lindley; M: Randy Newman. L.A. Film Critics '98: Support. Actress (Allen); Broadcast Film Critics '98: Support. Actress (Allen).

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