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Take Your Kids to See Nanny McPhee Returns

John on August 19, 2010 at 10:10 pm

I got passes to a screening tonight and took my two daughters (9 and 6). None of us had seen the first Nanny McPhee (2005), so we weren’t expecting much going in.

This is a really fun family film. It reminds me of the old Disney movies, i.e. the Apple Dumpling Gang, Pete’s Dragon. It has some of the same B-movie charm and simplicity. At the same time, the cast in this is outstanding. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the weary mom trying to save the family farm. Emma Thompson is the catalyst character who, with a little magic, helps her do it.

But the real stars of this film are the kids and, though I didn’t recognize any of them, they were uniformly excellent. The early scenes where city kids meet country were genuinely funny and had the kids in the audience laughing. And it actually gets better from there. There’s a scene about midway through involving magic pigs which was unexpected and funny. Towards the end things get a bit more serious but never for too long. This is a comedy and it stays that way right up to the climax.

In watching the credits I noticed that Emma Thompson wrote this as well as starring in it. Bravo. Obviously she’s a talented writer, but I wrongly assumed she’d stick to more highbrow fair. Nanny McPhee Returns brings new life to the old idea of children’s entertainment, no giant robots, no rotten kids, just a sweet, simple message about the importance of good values. Take your kids this weekend. They’ll have fun and you will too.

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Category: Movies |

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