The niche of films about nannies would generally be dominated by that blockbuster and Christmas television stalwart, 'Nanny McPhee movies.,' but has taken on the mighty legend of with her double bill of
It could be said that Ms. Thompson and her production team have brought the nanny genre up to date with these offerings. Perhaps she has injected something of the night into them too; but then even 'Mary Poppins' had a bit of that as well.
In case you have not yet had a chance to see the films, Nanny McPhee is a nanny with special powers. She is dispatched to homes with desperately badly behaved children and enables to sort them out using a combination of persuasion and magical powers. Of course the children learn at the same time and we are all left feeling better about ourselves at the end.
These are movies the family can watch, appealing like 'Mary Poppins' to both children and adults alike.
One of the great delights for me in the Nanny McPhee movies is the cast. Oscar-winning Emma Thompson was never going to put in a bad performance, especially as she wrote the screenplay, but she is almost out-shone by the cream of British acting which supports her.
The father of the children in the first movie is Mr. Brown and is perfectly played by that man of the moment, Colin Firth. The children are lead by a young man who had made his mark in the earlier British hit, 'Love Actually,' Thomas Sangster and their great-aunt is frighteningly yet delightfully portrayed by Angela Lansbury. Those two foundations of British cinema, Celia Imrie and Imelda Staunton, also carry away their parts with aplomb.
In many ways I felt the film was made even more fascinating by a double act between and, unexpectedly, Derek Jacobi. These two were not on the screen long enough in my opinion, playing as they were Mr. Brown's two assistants in the funeral parlour but doing so in a style reminiscent of Kenneth Williams and as the camp Julian and Sandy in the radio series 'Round The Horne.'
For the second of the two movies, 'Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang,' Emma Thompson admitted they had learned a lot from the first one and developed some of the ideas.
Now we have moved on in time from the late Victorian setting of the first film to the 1940's and the Second World War. There are naughty children again but this time they are driving their mother mad while the father is away fighting in the war. They live in a beautiful farm set in the English countryside and things are further complicated by the arrival of two superior cousins escaping the bombs in London. The two cousins immediately christen the farm 'the land of poo.'
The cast is again well up to the job with a great performance from Bill Bailey plays the amusing Farmer Macreadie just right ("Clever things, pigs") and it is great to see Maggie Smith as the seemingly vague Mrs. Docherty. There are even two short appearances from Ewen McGregor as the father, Mr. Green. For me the pleasant surprise was the appearance of Sam Kelly as the warden husband of Mrs. Docherty., who despite her normal American accent, plays the English mother flawlessly. There are more delightful faces to be seen; is once again hardly recognizable, this time as the scheming brother-in-law.
Emma Thompson likes her double acts; there is another one in this movie. Katy Brand and Sinead Matthews play the cute bullies Miss Topsey and Miss Turvey just right.
One development from the first film to the second is the use of animals. The first version introduced us to the dancing donkey and the second one moved things on considerably. We are delighted by pigs flying and swimming through good training and animation, together with a quirky jackdaw with a taste for putty.
The second movie did seem to lose its way a little about a third of the way through but overall I thoroughly enjoyed both films. The way Nanny McPhee moves from very ugly at the beginning to very presentable as the children learned more was well handled. The best touch for me was the revelation that linked both films at the very end of the second: but I will not ruin it by telling you now.
If you are looking to download legal movies, these are two fun movies that you can watch happily with the rest of the family and know that you, and they, will enjoy them and feel good after. I would cheerfully recommend the two Nanny McPhee movies to you for a good evenings entertainment.