Monday, 1 December 2014

Paddington - review

Let's be honest. At the start of 2014, who would have honestly said that the two best family films of the year would have been one based on a building block toy and one that inspired the meme #creepypaddington?

Well of course The LEGO Movie turned out to be "Awesome" and Harry Potter and Gravity producer David Heyman has worked his magic yet again to produce a film which is as charming, warm and fuzzy as the titular bear.

Not only has it remained faithful to Michael Bond's original character thanks to Ben Whishaw's marmalade-smooth vocal performance but Paul King (director of The Mighty Boosh and Bunny And The Bull) gives it a delightfully quirky and whimsical spin with some great gags and touches like the taxi ride that highlights all the cliched sights in London before having Mr Brown (Bonneville) ask the taxi driver "what kind of route was that?" And the lights on the lost and found sign at the station flickering dependent on how the conversation is going with the Brown family.

It is also surprising that Paddington overtakes The Hunger Games: Mockingjay as the most overtly political movie aimed at young people this year.

It positively promotes the benefits that immigrants can bring to London and the UK and how they should be welcomed with open arms despite what the naysayers might say, as epitomised by Peter Capaldi's Mr. Currie who is clearly a Daily Mail reader and has the conversation with Nicole Kidman's villain about how it starts with one and soon they'll be over here stealing all our marmalade.

Paddington has found a welcome home this festive season and is the bear necessity for a family trip to the cinema.

4 stars

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