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Best Picture Nominee: Finding Neverland

Producers: Richard N. Gladstein and Nellie Bellflower

Previous Best Film wins: National Board of Review

The story: At the turn of the 20th century, Scotsman J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp) finds moderate success as a playwright, staging serviceable, if somewhat mundane, plays for London’s society. Yet, somewhere deep inside, Barrie intuitively believes he has a masterpiece in him just waiting to come out. Little does he know inspiration is right around the corner in the form of the Llewelyn Davies family: four fatherless boys and their beautiful, recently widowed mother, Sylvia (Kate Winslet). Much to the chagrin of Sylvia’s upper-crust mother (Julie Christie) and his own wife (Radha Mitchell), Barrie befriends the family, engaging them in any manner of fun-filled activities, from playing pirates to flying kites. But of the all the Llewelyn Davies, Barrie forms a particularly close attachment to young Peter (Freddie Highmore), a sensitive little boy who is having a tough time dealing with his father’s death and trying to grow up too fast. Through this family of muses, Barrie finally finds his voice, but just as he is ready to introduce the theater world to Peter Pan, a tragic twist of fate makes the writer and those he loves most understand just what it means to really believe…and you really do want to believe.

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