Genre: Family comedy
Runtime: approx. 97 min.
Cast: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Kelly Macdonald, Thomas Sangster,Celia Imrie, Derek Jacobi
Director: Kirk Jones
Writer: Emma Thompson
Guide Review of "Nanny McPhee"
Nanny McPhee relates the darkly whimsical tale of the unfortunate Brown family. Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) and his seven children have lost their beloved wife and mother and are now, unbeknownst to the children, living under the heavy hand of the deceaseds Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury). Due to the tragic loss of their mother, and their fathers unexplained distance from them in a fanatic effort to find a new wife, the children have resorted to expressing their feelings of loss and fear in unspeakably unproductive ways.
The cook is terrified of the children, and the scullery maid Evangaline is the only one who tries to understand them. As nanny number 17 flees the home in terror and the children gloat over this most recent conquest, poor Mr. Brown sighs in desperation. A humble man who is often a pushover for his children, Mr. Brown needs someone who can bring necessary discipline and order to his chaotic household He needs Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson, who also wrote the screenplay). Lucky for him, she suddenly appears on his doorstep.
The children resolve to be rid of this new nuisance as quickly as the last 17, but their resolve is not as strong as Nanny McPhees wit and magic. Upon learning that their actions have consequences, the children begin to change, and their view of Nanny McPhee changes as well.
Smart and captivating, Nanny McPhee capably holds the attention of both kids and adults alike. The dark twist on this often comical fairy tale makes the movie all the more intriguing. The film could have been even longer, giving more depth to the characters and allowing the audience more interactions between Nanny McPhee and the children.
Note to Parents
Most concerning to parents will be the childrens naughty behavior in the beginning of the film. The Brown kids engage in several practical jokes in addition to out rightly defiant, disrespectful and sarcastic behavior. The movie also portrays some of the sad and distressing elements of the childrens lives, such as their feelings about the death of their mother and their fathers lack of attention.
Some scenes with Mr. Brown's prospective bride also contain moderate innuendo during which the woman is wearing a dress showing significant cleavage.
"Nanny McPhee" Content Overview
The following contains some of the most prominent examples of possibly scary or offensive content in the movie:
-Violent scenes are limited to comic interactions involving the precocious children. In one scene, for example, they tie up the cook while wreaking havoc in her kitchen.
-Some instances of peril occur, but no one is hurt.
-Mr. Brown's prospective wife shows significant cleavage, and his scenes with her involve frequent innuendo (though it is unintentional on his part).
Alcohol/Drugs (Very low)
-Wine is shown in one scene.
Bad/Disrespectful Behavior (High)
-The children are defiant and disrespectful, planning several practical jokes to play on the cook and the nanny.
-Colorful expressions are limited and use mild words such as "fart" and "bum."
Scary Scenes (Low)
-Scenes listed under violence may be scary for young children.
-Mr. Brown works at a mortuary, and a couple of scenes show a corpse that he is working on.
Sad/Distressing Scenes (Medium)
-Instances where the family or children talk of their deceased mother and their father's seeming indifference may be distressing to young children.
-The children are briefly nervous that they might be taken from their father.
Talk About "Nanny McPhee" with Your Family
- Why do the children act out so badly in the beginning of the movie? What do they learn that motivates them to change?
- Why does Nanny McPhee say, "When you need me, but do not want me, I shall stay. When you want me, but do not need me, I must go"?
- In what way did the film show that it is important to talk to people when you are upset with their actions rather than jumping to conclusions?