Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas treats: Paddington

A young bear from Darkest Peru with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a new home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist (who turns out to be the daughter of the explorer who discovered the Peruvian Bears).

PADDINGTON is a joy from start to finish, children of all ages will love it, thankfully we had practically a private screening of it early this morning at the first show at the local multiplex, while schoolchildren are still at school! 

First of all it looks great, as directed by Paul King from Michael Bond's classic tales. Every scene is magical - whether the Brown's house, or the bears' hideaway in the jungle and its a terrific London film too, showing the city at its best. 
The cast throw themselves into it - Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins (PERSUASION, BLUE JASMINE) are both perfect as the parents, Julie Walters is their housekeeper, Peter Capaldi lives next door, Matt Lucas drives a taxi, Jim Broadbent is the kindly antiques dealer. Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton voice the older bears and Ben Whishaw (above) is sheer perfection as the voice of Paddington with his love of marmalade sandwiches, there are good running gags featuring pigeons, and then there is Nicole Kidman - repenting for her dreadful GRACE OF MONACO with her deliciously camp portrayal of the evil taxidermist as a modern Cruella De Vil. 
Hugh drags up as a wacky cleaning lady as he and Paddington look for clues and then head to the Natural History Museum - this is one night at the Museum not to miss! A Film of The Year for me then! 

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