Hal Finney (
Mon, 7 Sep 1998 13:32:47 -0700

I saw a trailer the other night for Pleasantville, opening October 16.

You can't always believe in a preview, but what I saw looked marvelously inspiring, with overtones of The Truman Show.

A brother and sister get zapped into a 1950's Leave-It-To-Beaver TV show called Pleasantville. This is an old premise but looks to be handled in a new way. Through their interactions with the townspeople, modern elements gradually begin to intrude and threaten the safe, conventional life of Pleasantville.

Visually, this is handled by having Pleasantville be in black and white. The introduction of elements from the real world appears as the addition of color. The trailer has beautiful scenes where characters who have "awakened" are shown in color as they live in their monochrome world. It's a stunning contrast and should be even more effective in the theater after seeing nothing by b&w through most of the movie. Apparently the film has set a record for most visual effects.

The music in the trailer is the stirring theme from the Disney movie Homeward Bound (about the dogs and cat who travel across the Sierra Nevada to rejoin their family). Probably this won't be carried over into the movie, but it's too bad because it really went well with the theme of overcoming conformity.

Hopefully the movie will live up to its advance buzz. Watch for it -