Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Nanny Mcphee and the Big Bomb

I have watched one film, the 2010 Nanny Mcphee and the Big Bomb, the sequel to the film released in 2005 which I have not seen. The star of the film is Emma Thompson as buck toothed, wart faced self appointed Nanny to a struggling to cope farmer’s wife with two children apart from her husband away at the front in the war. The plot is the wish of the brother in law to sell the farm in which he has a half share to pay off his gambling debts. She decides to give in on learning that her husband has been killed in action and the long final part of the film is how she prevented from doing this by her children and those of her husband’s brother with the help of Nanny.

The second film subject is the interaction between the three rough and tumble normal children in the family who nevertheless help out with farm chores, aided by some Heath Robinson contraptions including one which rubs the tummies of the piglets which are being sold to buy a harvester and keep the farm going, and the two posh and spoiled cousin who are sent to the farm, because of the bombing but in reality because their aristocratic father who is big at the War Office and their mother, who we do not see, are getting a divorce and neither have time for their immediately dislikeable children. The cousins arrive a day early in the family Rolls Royce and are horrified at the state of the farm and all the poohs! There is real enmity and mayhem until Nanny arrives uninvited and starts to impose her rules and standards with the help of magic.

What brings them together is the discovery, with the help of brother in law, that the piglets have gone on the run. With the help of Mcphee the pigs fly and also do a synchronised dance where they get into the river. It is the cousin who however works out how to capture then and return just as he wicked brother in law has told the buying farmer played by Bill Bailey that they are lost.

When the telegram arrives brought by the brother in law saying that the husband is killed in action, it is the eldest son who feels in his bones, a trait of his father’s, that this is not so. The cousin suggests they go and see his father to try and find out the authenticity and with the help of Nanny they drive to London in a motorcycle and sidecar. They managed to by pass security because Nanny knows the guard from a previous adventure adn the combination of both boys persuade the cousin’s father, Lord Gray (Ralph Fiennes) to make enquiries and establish that the father is only missing in action and that no telegram of his death was sent. Realising that the uncle is up to his tricks again they rush back to the farm, intervening with the help of the two girls to prevent signing of the sale contract until they get there.

The mother helps out at the local store Aggie Docherty, who I learn was part of the original story, and who is played by Maggie Smith who has become semi blind and other things fills store drawers with treacle and sits by a mountain of flour. Her husband is the local ARP warden and suggests that they wear tin hats because a bomb could fall on them by accident because a pilot sneezes and accidentally presses the bomb release button. This happens on the farm in the middle of their corn field waiting to be harvested and the children between them manage to defuse while Nanny organisers the have resting as a going away present. She is accompanied by a rook with a penchant for eating the putty surrounding windows but this addiction becomes an asset when the final wire to cut to prevent explosion is covered in putty.

When she arrives Nanny says “When you need me but do not want me, I must stay and when you want me, but no longer, then I have to go.”

There is a sub plot in that if Nanny is able to teach the children her lesson then she transforms, with the upper wart going when they stop fighting, the lower wart goes when they start to share, the unibrow disappears when they work together, and her hair goes from grey to brown when they are brave and the buck tooth goes when they have faith. She also wears five medals one for each of the lessons and when she departs each of the children find they have been awarded one of the medals.

It is a good family film entertainment.

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