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DVD Review

DVD cover

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang


Starring: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, Maggie Smith and Ewan McGregor
Universal Pictures (UK)
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: U
Available 19 July 2010

Nanny McPhee appears at the door of a harried young mother, Mrs. Isabel Green, who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war. But once she’s arrived, Nanny McPhee discovers that Mrs. Green’s children are fighting a war of their own against two spoiled city cousins who have just moved in after their parents sent them away from London because of the threat of The Blitz...

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang is the second Nanny McPhee movie. I have to admit, as children's films are not usually my thing, that I hadn't seen the first film and wasn't sure what to expect from this movie.

I was dreading it being a Mary Poppins knock off with all the sickly sweet guff that made Babe and Beethoven particularly unpalatable to adults. I was in for a very pleasant surprise. This is a feel good movie which finely balances its beats - so we have sad, poignant moments as well as action and comedy.

The acting is universally impressive - especially the five children - and there's some impressive cameo appearances too including Bill Bailey, Ralph Fiennes, and a very brief appearance by Ewan McGregor.

Emma Thompson is wonderful in the role of Nanny McPhee, Maggie Smith shows perfect comedy timing as Mrs. Docherty and Rhys Ifans proves he can master physical comedy. The only character I had a hard time believing was Maggie Gyllenhaal as Mrs Green. While on the whole her acting is good (especially considering she's managed to perfect a near faultless English accent) there were a few too many scenes where the acting was just a little too hammy.

Also... I must be extremely stupid, but I have no idea what the title's "Big Bang" actually alludes to.

Extras include an audio commentary with director Susanna White (which is patchy, but offers a few interesting insights into the making of the movie); Deleted Scenes (14 min, 19 sec); New Film New Story (4 min, 9 sec featurette that looks the background to the movie); Magical Moves (1 min, 53 sec featurette that examines the staging of the scene where the children have to attack themselves); Mr Edelweiss (2 min, 05 sec look at the training of the jackdaws); Emma Thompson Becomes Nanny McPhee (1 min, 40 sec look at Emma Thompson's make-up application); The Pigs (3 min, 42 sec look at filming the pig sequences); and The Mud (2 min, 04 sec explanation of how the mud was made for the movie and the problems it caused).

As a family movie that everyone can enjoy it doesn't get much more impressive than this. It's clever, witty and a whole lot of fun.


Darren Rea

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