‘NANNY MCPHEE’: SILLY CHAOS IN A KIND OF FAIRYTALE. Colin Firth stars with Emma Thompson in this adaptation. Text © Rissi JC

‘NANNY MCPHEE’: SILLY CHAOS IN A KIND OF FAIRYTALE

January 15, 2022 1 Comment

Movie you watch years ago, and then randomly decide to re-watch tend to be ones you forget about. At least this applies to Nanny McPhee, a film featuring Colin Firth and an all-star cast big on talent.

Nanny McPhee (2005) Film Review

Having seven children is something that quite baffles Mr. Brown (Firth). Further ruffling him is the fact that he’s lost his soulmate and helpmate, leaving him no choice but to find a nanny. However on this day he leaves home for work confident he has the best nanny to care for his children. Only trouble is, she rushes into his office, frazzled screaming that his children “ate the baby!” Of course, this is simply their idea of a prank, but this again brings Mr. Brown back to where he started: without a nanny!

Without ability to find another nanny through the agency (who is done with his family), Mr. Brown is desperate. Through an unexplained series of events, Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) comes to his door. One of the most hideous people the Browns have ever seen, the child continue to defy authority only to learn this most unusual person is not to be trifled with.

This is one of those films that is like a most unusual mix of genres. There’s fantasy, yes, but there’s also this kind of Cinderella story that one doesn’t initially expect. Based on a series of books titled Nurse Matilda, the change in title came under the direction of Emma Thompson’s screenplay (an actress who also wrote Sense and Sensibility). I cannot say how this compares as an adaptation though in the making of, they note differences between the number of children and that Mrs. Brown is still alive and well. However beyond that, I do think this is a well written film that could be Thompson’s better body of work.

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The cast is good and consists of more than just Jane Austen alum cast. Additionally you’ll see Celia Imrie, Kelly Macdonald, Angela Lansbury and Eliza Bennet (from Prince and Me, Inkheart). It’s a solid cast and of course, as it’s a kind of error comedy, there’s lots of hijinks and silly things, too! If that’s not your thing, I’d steer clear, because this one has oodles of naughty children.

Beyond just the fantasy element of the “who” of Nanny McPhee, there are some fairytale vibes, too. This is all done in a Cinderella kind of manner, and could apply to two different characters. The one feels very inauthentic, not because I don’t like the character, but rather there’s no time to flourish and feel “real.” Then there’s Nanny McPhee. In the “making of” features, there’s also talk about the differing opinions on the change in her. I would say the change is more literal than figurative, but whichever way it is, it’s an interesting concept to ponder.

If you like Firth or just want to re-live some nostalgia, Nanny McPhee isn’t a bad way to accomplish either of those things.

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‘NANNY MCPHEE’: SILLY CHAOS IN A KIND OF FAIRYTALE. Colin Firth stars with Emma Thompson in this adaptation. Text © Rissi JC

Content: there’s nothing much to note unless you prefer entertainment where there’s less chaos. The children are always getting up to mischief and as a result, there’s mass chaos scenes. The film is PG.

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About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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