Starring veteran Oscar winners Emma Thompson & Maggie Smith, Oscar nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal, and a bunch of cute child actors, Nanny McPhee Returns tells a story about how Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) came to the rescue of Isabella (Maggie Gyllenhaal), whose husband is away at war, whose children are driving her crazy, and whose brother-in-law is trying to steal the family farm to pay off his gambling debts. With the help of magic, Nanny McPhee teaches Isabella's 3 kids and their 2 spoiled cousins five important lessons: to stop fighting, to share, to work together, to be brave and to have faith. She and the kids also succeeded in saving the farm from their uncle.
Nanny McPhee doesn't appear to be a likeable character at first. Her ugly face makes it hard to believe the role is played by Emma Thompson, who often impresses me with her graceful, warm smile. But as the story evolves, Nanny McPhee turns out to be very kind, loving, and powerful!
There are quite a few funny scenes in the movie that stick in my mind. The two that are particularly worth mentioning are: piglets dancing water ballet in sync (parody of Bathing Beauty 1944) and Nanny McPhee driving her motorcycle around London. You've got to watch these! We couldn't stop laughing at those scenes and even replayed the piggy scene twice. The movie includes a lot of animal magic, which makes my son very excited.
Overall, I think this movie is a great choice for a family movie night. It's entertaining and educational. I'm deeply impressed with the performances of the child actors and actresses. They've got talent! The country scenery was fabulous! Although I have to admit that things are too slow-paced at a few places in the movie and it's a bit too long for a young toddler, we truly enjoyed watching the movie and would recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh.
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Disclosure: I was compensated for my time by Collective Bias. Thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.