MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
In the first film adapting the “Nurse Matilda” books, Emma Thompson stars as Nanny McPhee, a magical nanny who appears when a family really needs her. Like a darker version of “Mary Poppins,” Nanny McPhee appears to a widower whose children are out of control. She plans on teaching them five lessons, and grows less ugly with each lesson, until the kids learn their manners and make life easier for their father.
WHAT I LIKED
This was a cute enough movie when I saw it in the theaters, and now it’s available on Blu-ray for the first time. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth catching before heading out to the theaters to see “Nanny McPhee Returns.”
The actors are what makes this movie work – from Emma Thompson as the title character to Colin Firth as the put-upon widower. There’s also an adorable performance by Kelly MacDonald, though she’s not in enough of the film to really enjoy her as an actor.
I’ve seen this film with my kids, and they adore it simply because it allows them to live vicariously through the kids as they misbehave in the beginning and then root for them to win as they learn their manners. It’s more of a kids’ film than a grown-up’s movie, with a good message at its heart.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Now that I’ve been a parent going on ten years, I find it harder and harder to appreciate movies with hellion children in the beginning. I get the fact that this is as set-up for kids to be improved, but I just can’t stomach watching blatant disregard for authority. It’s the dad in me that makes this tough to take.
Also, there are points in the movie that get a little too silly, even for my tastes. While my nine-year-old always loved the scene where a donkey is dressed up in its Sunday best, it doesn’t quite fit in the scheme of the film.
The Blu-ray comes with all the DVD extras from the original release, including featurettes on casting the children, building the village, the make-up effects and the journey from the “Nurse Matilda” books to this film. There are also deleted scenes, a gag reel and a feature commentary with director Kirk Jones and the children stars.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Kids and people who like Emma Thompson’s children’s book take on life.