In 1939 London, Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a middle-aged governess who has just been sacked by her employer for being too persnickety. She is the daughter of a vicar and comes across to others as very old-fashioned. Guinevere lost the one man she ever loved in World War I and now another war seems to be on the way. The employment agency has decided that she is not fit for their stamp of approval and so Guinevere ends up on the street with no where to go. But thanks to some quick thinking on her part, she sniffs out a new employment possibility with Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams), an American actress and singer who desperately needs a social secretary. Suddenly Guinevere finds herself immersed in the high society world of wealthy and glamorous men and women.
Bharat Nalluri directs this bubbly comedy that is sprinkled with witty lines and zany situations. Amy Adams is a delight to watch as an aspiring singer who seems willing to do anything it takes to become a star. She is involved romantically with three men: Michael (Lee Pace), a pianist who is madly in love with her and wants to take her to America where they can make beautiful music together; Nick (Mark Strong), a nightclub owner who brings out the bad girl in Delysia; and Phil (Tom Payne), a rich young man who can get her the lead role in a Broadway musical.
While Guinevere adapts to this new world of surface glitz, her morality puts her at odds with the casual ways in which Delysia and Edythe (Shirley Henderson), a fashion shop owner, play at love as if it were a game instead of the most important relationship in life. By chance, she finds an improbable soul mate in Joe (Ciaran Hinds), a successful lingerie designer who started out as a humble designer of socks. In matters of the heart, the vicar's daughter turns out to be a wise counselor. Frances McDormand is perfect in this role and seems to relish every moment of her time on screen.
Special DVD features include deleted scenes; "Making an Unforgettable Day"; and "Miss Pettigrew's Long Trip to Hollywood."