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Pleasantville

Year: 1998
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Gary Ross
Producer: Gary Ross
Writer: Gary Ross
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H Macy, Joan Allen, J T Walsh, Jeff Daniels, Don Knotts, Marley Shelton
A smartly subversive film that sneaks up on you, especially if you have no idea what to expect.

It's really a comment on individualism and how the messy conundrums of human nature - lust, yearning, laughter and challenging the consensus - break down barriers and bring (literally) colour into our worlds. It's about how passion and living life to the full is much more fun that the stifling pleasantness that infects society.

A reclusive, quiet brother (Maguire) and his much more experienced sister (Witherspoon) are somehow teleported into a 1950s sitcom from their real-world 1990s home - a land where everything's black and white and everyone's painfully nice and behaved.

When the two start to ingratiate themselves into the life of the small town, they inspire those around them to break out of their own moulds, and it's a redemption story for all involved as some find colour and some realise it's not such a bad place to be.

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