Tonight I caught a sneak peak showing of "Finding Neverland", a film inspired by the story of how James Barrie came to befriend a widow with 4 boys, and how that friendship provided the inspiration for Barrie to write "Peter Pan," a play/story that has enthralled the young and old alike for a century now. Johnny Depp is very good in his role as Barrie (though his accent sounded more Irish than Scottish, and Barrie was born a Scot, but moved to London, so why he sounded Irish, I have no idea, maybe Scots in 1904 sounded Irish, but it's just a minor quibble). Kate Winslet is also up to the task as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, the widow with 4 boys. The Llewelyn Davies boys are good, but the boy (Freddie Highmore) playing Peter was really good in capturing the complexity of childhood and having to deal with his father's early demise from a child's perspective where the world appears to be a fair place to live, but events conspire to take away that worldview in the blink of an eye. I normally don't tear up at movies, but there is something about how this film builds up the relationships, confronts the age of innocence and the question of just when does it end, and adulthood begin. There's a subtle moment in the film that captures that transition, and you can't help but get teary-eyed as Barrie does what he knows best to stave off adulthood trappings as best he can for the boys (and perhaps himself as well) by writing the play, but it's a losing battle in some respects, but in others, his enduring play gives the audience a chance to recapture that innocent time where all things are possible and magic is part and parcel with that special place in one's heart, Neverland, where the best of everything is waiting for each one of us regardless of the events of adulthood that work to erode that child-like perspective in all of us. By the end of the film, not a dry eye in the house, and each tear and sniffle was earned by a worthy screenplay, solid direction, and very good acting performances all around. The film draws on the emotional power of finding a way to access your own personal Neverland in order to deal with what life has in store for you. I give it 3.75 stars, or a grade of A-.