Make believe

Scottish writer James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937) was a great success during his lifetime, with 40 plays, six novels and numerous works of nonfiction to his name. But he is remembered today for one play only: Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, first performed 100 years ago this December.

Finding Neverland, directed by Marc Forster and scripted by David Magee (and based loosely on the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan, by Allan Knee), seeks to show how the 44-year-old Barrie (played by Johnny Depp) came to write the play that some claim changed the face of children’s literature forever. That it plays fast and loose with the facts in order to fashion a neat fable about the creative process is just one of its shortcomings.

 

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