The Other Dr. Strangelove

Bill Condons Kinsey, plus Finding Neverland

Much buzz is being generated about Depp's performance being Oscar-worthy, about which I can only say that he does a highly credible Scottish accent. Unfortunately, it's the wrong one, a broad brogue more worthy of a Glasgow shipyard worker than of the effete patrician Barrie. Depp is warmer than I've ever seen him, but his performance is strangely muted and grave for a man who liked nothing better than to frolic with a bunch of kids. Winslet is radiant and earthy as ever, even as she sickens unto death. Julie Christie is wonderfully acidic as Sylvia's controlling mother, and Dustin Hoffman is good for a few laughs as Barrie's long-suffering producer. But they're all upstaged by one little boy (Freddie Highmore) who plays the Llewellyn Davieses' youngest son, who lets Barrie know in no uncertain terms that not he, but Barrie himself, is the true inspiration for the boy who never grew up. It's the one moment of truth in a flat, timid picture that only gathers steam in its last half-hour, and though I don't believe in giving Oscars to little kids—even the best are usually following very close direction—I'd waive the rule for young Highmore. The final scene, in which the sorrowing child, his thin little face pinched with grief, sits with Barrie on a park bench and buries his face in the playwright's coat, transcends its schmaltzy intent and becomes the high point in what is otherwise, as Peter Pan might have put it, an awfully small adventure.

KINSEY was written and directed by BILL CONDON; Produced by GAIL MUTRUX; and stars Liam Neeson and Laura Linney. Now playing at Edwards South Coast Village, Santa Ana; FINDING NEVERLAND was directed by MARC FORSTER; written by DAVID MAGEE, based on the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by ALLAN KNEE; produced by RICHARD N. GLADSTEIN and NELLIE BELLFLOWER; and stars Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. Now playing countywide.

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