"Nanny McPhee Returns" DVD, Blu-Ray Movie Review

1/01/2011 Posted by Admin

"Nanny McPhee Returns"

DVD, Blu-Ray Movie Review

Directed by Susanna White, Written by Emma Thompson, Christianna Brand (characters), Rated PG, 109-minutes.

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

Emma Thompson’s second turn as the militaristic Mary Poppins is a mostly enjoyable experience. The snarky jokes, enchanting effects and wacky performances should please children and adults alike. But the film’s emphasis on both imagination and reality is where it really scores.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Isabella Green, a woman struggling to keep her children and family farm afloat while her husband serves in the army. It’s not easy, especially when her pompous niece (Rosie Taylor-Ritson) and nephew (Elos Vlahos) come to visit, and their proper ways conflict with the rural upbringing of the Green children.

From the onset, they hate each other.

Their bickering defines the early moments of the film, and it’s what prompts the arrival of the magical Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson). Appearing when needed most, McPhee teaches the children to work together, performing five lessons that test the children’s behavior and moral compass.

McPhee brings out the best in the children and gives them a common goal, during which the Nanny busts out some magic and director Susanna White shows off her beautiful locales.  And yet the movie isn't slight.  The first half of the film deals with the kids learning to work with one another, while the rest features them dealing with real-world problems.

At one point, Isabella receives word that her husband was killed in duty. Skeptical, the first Green son, Vincent (Oscar Steer), convinces his cousin Cyril and McPhee to go with him London to learn the truth.  In this regard, the film doesn’t ignore life during wartime – death always is a possibility, yet as often as the characters must deal with it, the film maintains hope.

So, rather than removing all optimism – which would be bleak given that this is a children’s film – “McPhee” offers a bit of both.  Fear is employed to build drama while imagination is used to rectify it.

Grade: B

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  1. Joel V said...

    I love how Nanny McPhee gets less ugly the more the kids learn. It is a good magical movie for kids. I watched Nanny McPhee Returns with my nephew and we loved it! We watched it on DISH Online and it was great! I love using DISH Online because it has hundreds of shows and movies to choose from, but because I am a DISH Network customer, I have access to thousands more shows and movies like Nanny McPhee Returns that my nephew and I can enjoy at any time! Additionally, since I subscribe to HBO, I have access to even more movies and shows than ever! I am sure that I will never run out of good things to watch! As and employee of DISH Network, I have had a lot of time to play with the site and I know that DISH Online has something to offer anyone and everyone! So I suggest taking a look at dishonline.com to see what I am talking about!