- Actors: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth
- Directors: Kirk Jones
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Dubbed: None
- Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
- Audio Description: None
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: U
- Studio: Universal Pictures Video
- DVD Release Date: 13 Feb. 2006
- Run Time: 94 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (250 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000BYCGXY
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,593 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Nanny McPhee [DVD]
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Magical children's feature, starring Emma Thompson. Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) has recently lost his wife and is faced with the prospect of trying to raise his seven unruly children on his own. With the wild children too much for most nannies, all of whom have quickly left his service, Cedric is one day commanded by a mysterious voice to hire the witch-like Nanny McPhee, who uses her magical powers to keep the children in line.
With hairy warts, a stern-looking unibrow and one extremely protruding buck-tooth, Nanny McPhee is a wonderfully comedic substitute for Mary Poppins in this entertaining family fantasy. By loosely adapting Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda children's books of the 1960s, Oscar-winning screenwriter Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility) has also given herself the plum role of Nanny McPhee, who can tame even the most unruly children with a tap of her magic walking stick.
Her latest challenge is the bratty brood of a recent widower Mr. Brown (Colin Firth), who's under pressure to find a new wife or lose his much-needed allowance from wealthy Aunt Adelaide (a tailor-made role for Angela Lansbury). His love for scullery maid Evangeline (Kelly Macdonald) remains unspoken as he wincingly woos the eagerly merry widow Mrs. Quickly (Celia Imrie), but Brown's raucous rugrats have a plan to make things right, especially after they've come under the benevolent influence of Nanny McPhee, whose peculiar brand of discipline works wonders for everyone involved.
Both quintessentially British and universally appealing, this wildly colourful comedy (thanks to a bold palette of costume and production design) was capably directed by Kirk Jones, whose appreciation for comic actors was equally apparent in his critically acclaimed 1998 comedy Waking Ned. With just a hint of darkness to offset the whimsy, Nanny McPhee offers a splendid match of director, cast and material, guaranteed to please Wallace & Gromit fans and anyone else with a taste for British zaniness.-- Jeff Shannon
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Top customer reviews
There's a lot of magic and some humour (mostly slapstick) in the film, alongside some quite sad subplots. The father works for a funeral parlour, which in itself is an odd feature for a children's film. He's lonely, the children are missing their mother. Nanny McPhee is very coercive but she's on their side, and her gradual transformation is nicely done, as the children become kinder and their father less stressed.
I loved this when I first watched it over ten years ago, and recently saw it again with my three-year-old grandson. The rating is U in the UK; the US rating of PG is, in my opinion, more appropriate. I had forgotten that there are a couple of mild ‘bad’ words and a scene full of innuendoes, though nothing explicit. There’s a fair amount of mock violence too, though it's mostly intended to be humorous. It's really more appropriate for children of about seven and upwards.
Still, this is a very enjoyable film with a big name cast, and I’m delighted that I had the opportunity to watch it again!
Let us start on the plot. Okay, so it seems from a distance to be a rip off of Mary Poppins. Its not at all like the it, though. Don't let anyone suggest it. Yes, its about a Nanny, and yes, it's a family film that pushes all the right buttons, but no, its not the same thing. Good, that's that over with. It's a fantastically traditional fairy tale with all the right ingredients - wicked stepmother, kids, handsome prince and absolutely stunning princess. Only they're not prince and princess, they're adoring father and cuddle-able scullery maid.
Colin Firth exudes so much charm that I challenge the most hardened cynic not to smile at his fumbling persona and...niceness. Kelly MacDonald is superb as the maid who adores the kids and thinks that the poor father simply doesn't notice her (which is obviously not true). In fact, let me stand up for myself a little. Accuse me of being an old romantic because this film makes me cry - but in defence of my masculinity, I think Evangeline is quite simply stunning, gorgeous, beautiful, hot, fantastic...I could list every word in the thesaurus, but I shall not.
Guest appearances from Derek Jacobi, Imelda Staunton and even Angela Lansbury simply pepper the supporting ensemble with brilliance. But I'm now going to wax lyrical about the simply divine Emma Thompson. Starting off in the film as a witchy nanny with warts, a big nose and a rather rotund behind, she loses her ugliness as the film progresses in accordance with the movement of the plot, and as she does so starts to display that wonderfulness that you come to expect from her. Her performance is a classic - up there with Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins, Maggie Smith in Hook, the Pigeon Lady from Home Alone 2; those women that you remember from your childhood film watching and smile and feel that warm buzzy feeling. I only hope that some kids of this generation remember Emma's wonderful character.
Nanny McPhee, in my eyes, is one of those very rare things. A modern classic. I cannot praise it more. It's a whole five stars. Ten out of ten. I can't fault it. Not even for a second.
I've seen it several times. I've cried in happiness, every single time. Call me pathetic, but...sometimes a good old fairy tale with a happy ending is exactly what we need.