Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang
July 18, 2010
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Director: Susanna White
Writer: Emma Thompson
Based on the books by: Christianna Brand
Producers: Tim Bevan/Eric Fellner/Lindsay Doran
Starring: Emma Thompson/Maggie Gyllenhaal/Ralph Fiennes/Rhys Ifans/Maggie Smith/Ewan McGregor/Katy Brand
BBFC Certification: U
Duration: 109 minutes
“The person you need is Nanny McPhee…” to keep the kids quiet for an hour and three quarters and just like magic, they’ll be hypnotised to the screens as the magic nanny who proves to be a worthy opponent to Mary Poppins returns in this magical sequel. Just like the first one, Nanny McPhee teaches naughty children how to behave and teaches them lessons on their flaws and how to better them. The plot isn’t really different from the first movie although the story is. The plot is still Nanny McPhee coming to the aid of a distressed parent when she’s needed and not wanted, teaching the naughty kids how to behave with a few personality lessons chucked in at the same time but the story this time is different.
The story is mainly about the Green children trying to help Mrs. Green run the farm and trying to stop her from selling the farm to Uncle Phil, who tries everything to make life harder for them on the farm. It doesn’t help adding the two vile cousins, Cyril and Celia, visiting the farm and causing havoc with the Green children which is where Nanny McPhee comes in. The story is well presented and very well written and it’s something that the entire family of all ages would enjoy, whether it be from synchronised swimming pigs jumping from tree to tree or watching Mrs. Docherty comically lose her mind. The whole movie is quite fun and proves to be light-hearted entertainment for the family to watch and it also proves to be a brilliant addition to the family genre as it’s joyful and innocent without being sickly sweet.
Emma Thompson was sublime as Nanny McPhee as she proves that underneath all the strict exterior of her character, McPhee is really quite a sweet and loveable character. Maggie Smith plays Mrs. Docherty who is the loveable, forgetful woman who is slightly crazy and brings more comedy to the movie and Rhys Ifans, who plays baddie Uncle Phil, was brilliant as his character as he, too, added more comedy to the movie. The actors I was mostly surprised about were the children, who were such fantastic young actors and actresses and did a brilliant job playing the roles of the bad children, especially Asa Butterfield and Eros Vlahos who played Norman and Cyril. There were a couple of scenes that made you feel for the children as they’re upset because their father is fighting in a war and they want everything to be perfect for him when he returns to the farm. It also leaves good, strong messages for the younger audience to think about, such as being brave and honest and being unselfish.
With some great comical dialogue as well as brilliantly-written characters, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang not only passes as one of the better family movies of today but it also surpasses as one of the better family movies of the decade. It’s hard not to like this movie as it achieves what it wanted to achieve, which is to be a memorable and fun family movie for all ages to watch and I think it succeeded with style. Nanny McPhee may not be no Mary Poppins but I can assure you that the movie will not fail to charm everybody and it also proves that you don’t always have to be charmed by special effects alone.