Nanny McPhee

8 out of 10


A Magical Comedy With A Bit Of Romance

At first glimpse, she’s absolutely appalling: a bulky and shapeless black dress that hangs off her large frame, very messy hair and a uni-brow, a nose that is way too big for her face, two huge hairy moles on her face... and who can overlook the snaggle-tooth that hangs out over her bottom lip?

But she only looks scary. Emma Thompson, who wrote the screen play, stars as Nanny McPhee. After Cedric Brown, played by Colin Firth, lost his wife, his seven kids got into the frame of mind that no one could replace their beloved mother. They have come up with numerous tricks to scare away over 20 nannies. Mr. Brown is at the end of the rope when the children scare away the final nanny in their best gimmick yet. When it looks like he has nowhere else to turn, Nanny McPhee hears his call and appears in his doorstep one night.

In the movie, Nanny uses her patience and loving ways along with some magic to teach the children five well-needed lessons so they will become better behaved. These lessons are:

To go to bed when they’re told.
To get up when they’re told.
To get dressed when they’re told.
To listen.
To do exactly as they’re told.

Once the lessons are learned, her job is done at the Brown household and she can leave.

Based on the children’s books “Nurse Matilda,” (written by Christianna Brand), this movie is a magical comedy with a bit of romance mixed in. The children’s outrageous ploys to scare away nannies combined with the magical animation make for a good laugh. A mixture of real people and computer animation, there is a good mix of colourful characters and delightful music to set every mood. There was never a dull moment with the seven energetic children and a barnyard full of animals. The suspense was even built up a few times in some heart-wrenching, emotional scenes, in which the actors did a good job at staying in character throughout. These scenes really tugged at the heart-strings and really helped to connect to the characters. Even the children did a good job of acting. They never broke character and they were cute enough to be likeable but naughty enough to be thankful that they weren’t your own.

Overall, the story line was good. It was convincing and it did a good job of keeping the excitement and interest peaked up. Most fairy tales end the same way, and although this ending was a happy one, it was not what you’d usually expect from a fairy-tale movie. There were surprises combined into the plot to keep the audience entertained.

Never a dull moment

Film Critic: Amanda Dupuis