Nanny McPhee (U)
Time Out saysThis family comedy sees an eccentric nanny magically appearing to heal the naughty, troubled kids of a handsome widower. Unlike Mary Poppins, however, Nanny McPhee is ugly; grotesque even. But while barely recognisable, writer-star Emma Thompson gradually sheds the exaggerated prosthetics (hairy warts, bulbous nose, etc.) each time the children learn a valuable lesson. Quite why, nobody explains: the film barely acknowledges its supernatural themes.
That McPhee appears to use magic to control the kids is secondary to the more involving story of the potential romance between their father Mr Brown (Colin Firth) and the maid (Kelly Macdonald), their union impeded by Great Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury), who insists Brown marry a suitable bride. While contrived, this storyline introduces the film’s most humorous character: showy money-grabbing widow Mrs Quickly (Celia Imrie). But that Nanny McPhee herself is so unengaging undermines the film’s impact, making it pleasing but ultimately unsatisfying.
Fri Oct 21, 2005
Cast and crew
Emma Thompson, Sam Honywood, Holly Gibbs, Jennifer Rae Daykin, Raphael Coleman, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Kelly MacDonald, Celia Imrie, Derek Jacobi, Imelda Staunton, Thomas Sangster, Eliza Bennett