Nanny McPhee

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +3

Emma Thompson, whose first screenplay won the 1995 Oscar for Sense and Sensibility, returns to screenwriting with Nanny McPhee, a film adaptation of the Nurse Matilda books. Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just released this family fantasy on DVD.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In the dark and witty fable, Ms. Thompson portrays a person of unsettling appearance and magical powers who enters the household of the recently widowed Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) and attempts to tame his seven exceedingly ill-behaved children.

PREVIEW REVIEW: At first this sweet-tempered film about unruly children bewitched by the nanny may suffer from comparison with that other fairytale governess. What was her name? You know, the one who always had a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. But past the magical nanny/kids in need of love scenario, the two films are apples and oranges, each deserving the same audience. Emma Thompsons work, both as writer and actress, is gem-like, flawless as she blends pie-fight slapstick with themes of loss and reconciliation. Funny, insightful, even romantic, one could say that Nanny McPhee is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

The new release features extras including a gag reel and two commentaries (one with the director and child stars, the other with Ms. Thompson and producer Lindsay Doran.)

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: In an attempt to shock the new nanny, the children come up with suggestive names, including using a word that refers to flatulence, but this happens only once and the writer avoids the crudity associated with many kid films of today

Obscene Language: mild (hell is heard from the cook once; a couple of English colloquialisms are used as expletives)

Profanity: None

Violence: slapstick physical comedy includes the children being unruly and at one point seizing the cook, strapping her down and running amuck in the kitchen; a food fight occurs later in the film)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: mild (the old aunt orders a sherry, but we never see her drink it)

Other: in the beginning the children are aggressive and behave badly, but they learn life lessons and prove to be caring; there are positive statements being made, including self-sacrifice; there are thematic elements, including a parent who has passed away before our story unfolds and another parent being a mortician who talks to his dead wife.

Running Time: 98 minutes
Intended Audience: Families

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