Watch Pleasantville

"Nothing is as simple as black and white."
  • PG-13
  • 1998
  • 2 hr 4 min
  • 7.5  (135,623)
  • 71

"Pleasantville" is a 1998 drama-comedy film directed by Gary Ross and starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, and Joan Allen. The movie follows the lives of two siblings, David and Jennifer, who are transported back in time to the 1950s via a magical remote control that sends them into the world of a popular black-and-white television show, "Pleasantville."

David and Jennifer find themselves trapped in the idyllic town of Pleasantville, a place where everyone lives a seemingly perfect life, devoid of any conflict or unhappiness. However, as they find out when they are forced to become characters in the show, the town's inhabitants are also ignorant of the world outside their own small community, and their existence revolves around conforming to strict societal norms and traditional values. They are expected to behave a certain way, hold certain opinions and beliefs, and never stray from the established order of things.

At first, the two siblings try to blend in with the docile residents of Pleasantville, but their attempts to modernize and shake things up eventually leads to a cultural revolution. David, who is a big fan of the show, introduces new concepts and ideas to the town, like art, literature, music, and colorful books. Jennifer, on the other hand, is more rebellious and sets out to challenge the status quo in various ways, including breaking down gender stereotypes and advocating for a woman's right to choose.

Their actions have a profound effect on the town, and gradually, the residents of Pleasantville stop being black-and-white caricatures and start to develop their own identities, interests, and passions. The color begins to seep into Pleasantville as the emotions and desires of its inhabitants grow more complex, and soon the town is transformed into a vibrant, multicolored utopia.

However, not everyone is excited about this transformation. The conservative, dogmatic elements of the town see the changes that are happening as a threat to their way of life, and a clash between the two factions begins to brew. Matters come to a head when the town's mayor, Big Bob, leads a movement to purge Pleasantville of its newfound individuality and return it to the "good old days."

The film explores themes of conformity, individuality, and prejudice, and how breaking from traditional norms can sometimes be difficult, but ultimately rewarding. It is also a celebration of art and creativity, and how these things can help people develop their own unique identities and make the world a more colorful and diverse place.

The acting in "Pleasantville" is top-notch, with Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon shining as the two leads. Jeff Daniels and Joan Allen also deliver standout performances, with Daniels playing a TV repairman who becomes fascinated with the world outside Pleasantville and Allen playing a single mother who finds herself questioning her role in society.

The film is visually stunning, with the transition from black-and-white to color being a powerful and poignant moment that perfectly captures the film's themes of change and growth.

"Pleasantville" is a heartwarming and thought-provoking film that is sure to inspire and uplift its viewers. It is a timeless tale of self-discovery and the transformative power of creativity that is as relevant and resonant today as it was when it was first released over 20 years ago.

Pleasantville is a 1998 fantasy movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 71.

Where to Watch Pleasantville
Pleasantville is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Pleasantville for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 4 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (135,623)
  • Metascore