Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA/United Kingdom/France, 2005. Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Working Title Films, Three Strange Angels, Nanny McPhee Productions. Screenplay by Emma Thompson, based on the Nurse Matilda books by Christianna Brand. Cinematography by Henry Braham. Produced by Tim Bevan, Lindsay Doran, Eric Fellner. Music by Patrick Doyle. Production Design by Michael Howells. Costume Design by Nic Ede. Film Editing by Justin Krish, Nick Moore.
Adaptation of the children’s book that sees a new kind of Mary Poppins appearing to help raise spoiled brats everywhere. In a household turned upside-down by seven unruly children, a hideously ugly but magically-gifted nanny (Emma Thompson, who also wrote the screenplay) shows up to teach the tykes something about respect. Their father (Colin Firth) is unable to do much with them because he is in serious danger of losing his monthly allowance from a shrewish aunt (Angela Lansbury) should he fail to make a suitable marriage within a month’s time. Thompson’s assistance will help the children learn not only how to behave themselves but also to assist them in saving their family from complete destruction. Despite colourful cinematography and dedicated performances by all (Thompson is especially good at the character’s deadpan qualities), the direction is completely lackluster and the overall experience is nowhere near the adorably quirky qualities of films like Babe or Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events.