Johnny Depp makes another run at the Oscar in the shoes of author-playwright J.M. Barrie. Depp’s finely tuned performance gives the story behind Barrie’s creation of his classic Peter Pan a resonant gentleness and sense of wonder. The film begins in London in 1903, with Barrie’s marriage on the rocks and his play Little Mary bombing on opening night. He crosses paths with the widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kate Winslet) and her four young boys in a park and strikes up a friendship that feeds his creativity, the indignation of his wife (Radha Mitchell) and Davies’ mother-in-law (Julie Christie), and the local gossip mill. Director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball) nimbly slides us in and out of Barrie’s blossoming fantasy but leaves only faint dramatic footprints where Barrie’s real and imaginary worlds collide. M.H.