Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Ben Whishaw, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon, Madeleine Harris, Peter Capaldi, Samuel Joslin, Jim Broadbent, Nicole Kidman
Directed By: Paul King
Written By: Paul King
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 35 min
I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive about the idea of a live action Paddington film. Another element from my childhood being raided for box office gold. It didn’t sit well with me. That opinion didn’t change after I saw the first trailer either, and I got a good look at the new and improved CGI bear. This feeling of apprehension stayed with me right up until I sat down in the theater to watch the film, even though the majority of the reviews I read, gave the movie an enthusiastic thumbs up.
I’m here to tell you I was completely and utterly wrong about this film. If you were to somehow calculate my wrongness in marmalade sandwiches (Paddington’s favorite) and stack them on a plate, they would easily reach the moon! This movie is a treasure waiting to be found by lucky moviegoers. An inventive fun gem, loaded with lovable characters telling a cute story about family. Sure, it gets a little overly sentimental now and again, but those gushing moments are few and fleeting, and easily forgiven when the rest of the film is so incredibly charming.
At a mere 95 minutes long, it doesn’t overstay its welcome either, and efficiently moves from one gorgeously produced, well acted and photographed scene to another. London hasn’t looked this magical since a certain young wizard was in the neighborhood. Writer/director Paul King’s creative energy for this project never wanes, and consistently delivers interesting and inventive ways to brighten up each scene. Be that with a little clumsy slapstick comedy from Paddington, or with clever quips in the script. A scene chewing turn by Nicole Kidman as a revengeful taxidermist, or the cool visual touches inside the Brown’s home as a tree painted on the stairwell wall changes to reflect the mood inside the house. There’s something here for everyone in the family, and I heartily recommend you see this film.
This is very different from the stop-motion, 2D animated drawings we saw as children. But the charm is still very much present in Paddington. Approach this movie with an open heart and mind. This film is rated PG, and is completely safe for kids of all ages!
I was really impressed with how well this film was photographed, and I loved the mix of live action characters inside vintage toys. Erik Wilson’s cinematography is colorful, layered and rich, and I strongly recommend you see this on the big screen. If you miss Paddington at the theaters, make sure you watch the HD version of this film with the family on your nice big TV. A film that looks this good shouldn’t be watched on a portable sized screen.
I loved the details within the visual arrangements in this film. Like during Paddington’s updates on the Brown family, as the shot explores different rooms of an old dollhouse. Or when Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent) tells the story of his arrival in London, and we watch a little boy arrive inside a toy train in Gruber’s shop.