Obviously the best thing about this feature film adaptation of Michael Bond’s children’s stories is Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of the films villain Millicent Clyde a sadistic taxidermist who works for the Natural History Museum. She has played a villain previously when she was cast as the villainous Mrs. Marisa Coulter in the first, and only, adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy The Golden Compass (2007).
This latest adaptation, apart from being great fun, was useful as a great way of demonstrating to young children the cultural differences between peoples of differing backgrounds and country’s, using the wee bear as an example. I would assume that most people are familiar with the story? Basically it involves a young Peruvian bear who, when his Uncle Pastuzo gets killed in an earthquake and thereafter his Aunt Lucy moves into a retirement home for old bears, travels to London where, he has been told, he will receive a very warm welcome and is sure to be offered a home. On arriving at Paddington Station it does not quite turn out that way - that is until the middle class Brown family takes pity on the lone Bear. Taking him to their home where, after a few mishaps, he becomes part of the family.
Directed by Paul King who co-wrote the screenplay with Hamish McColl, Paddington Bear (2014) is a great family friendly adventure as was proved by the laughter from a packed ‘all age group’ audience at the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre on Saturday evening. It was great to see so many young children present, not always the case in the RBCFT! As well as the wonderful Nicole Kidman the film also starred Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Henry Brown, award winning actress Sally Hawkins as his wife Mary, Julie Walters as the house keeper Mrs. Bird. There were also roles for some other well-known British actors including Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Matt Lucas, with Ben Whishaw as the voice of the bear. A very entertaining and enjoyable 95 minutes in which I challenge you not to fall in love with a furry creature, although I’m still not keen on marmalade!
|The Browns come to the Bears rescue.|