Starring: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Director: Kirk Jones
Running Time: 98 mins
Nanny McPhee is a British film about a group of naughty children who are finally given a nanny that can control them. However, there’s something magical about Nanny McPhee when she comes to help the family in its hour of need.
This is a nice, simple family fantasy comedy, and is a perfectly easy and enjoyable watch for kids. However, it’s just too generic and bland to really interest anyone over the age of 12. With some pretty average performances, a predictable and cheesy plot, there’s very little to keep you interested throughout.
However, let’s talk about the best part of this movie, and that’s how it looks. For all its bland story and characters, there’s at least some really nice, well-detailed and colourful production design that confirms this film’s positive and family-friendly vibe. If you struggle to get any enjoyment out of the rest of the plot, and that’s very likely, then at least take some comfort in the lush look of this film.
And of course, the fact that kids can enjoy this is at least some comfort. This is one of those films that I watched over and over again when I was about 8 – I knew it wasn’t stunning, but it had that nice, positive vibe, and that allowed me to enjoy it, which I’m sure all other kids who like a nice fairytale story will have fun with.
But apart from that, there’s not really much else to Nanny McPhee. One place that you would expect to see some quality would be from the A-list cast, including Emma Thompson and Colin Firth, but unfortunately, they don’t really deliver. They’re by no means helped by the bland script, but still, both Thompson and Firth felt a little wooden in this film, which was a shame to see.
The biggest problem, however, is the screenplay. Yes, it’s a simple family fantasy, and it does that job well, but that doesn’t immediately make it a good film. You can see everything that’s coming a mile off, and when it happens it’s even cheesier than you could imagine, whilst the comedy here never really works either, making it a generally bland affair with little real enjoyment to be had.
Overall, I wasn’t so impressed with Nanny McPhee. It does do its job in providing a simple film for kids to like, and shines with some wonderful visuals and production design, but in general, its poor screenplay and average performances leave little to keep you entertained, and that’s why it gets a 6.3 from me.