Paddington 2 is a warm and fuzzy joy

Brunilde Fioravanti
Gennaio 13, 2018

In Paddington 2 even the bad guy (whose identity is best left for you to discover) is courteous and charming rather than the stereotypical mustache twirling villain with a master plan you see in kids' films. Check our movie review.

Directed by Paul King, Paddington 2 is written by King and Simon Farnaby and stars Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington, and Imelda Staunton as voice of Aunt Lucy. If you haven't seen "Paddington" in its 2015 theatrical release or recent life online (it's now a featured title on Netflix), you're not ready for the second chapter. As you may know Paddington is a very polite bear who can get along with anyone. And with Paddington doing hard time, it's up to the Brown family to track down the real thief. Brown is having a midlife crisis; Sally Hawkins's warm Mrs. Voiced immaculately by Ben Whishaw with more than a bit of whimsy and wiseness, the Peruvian bear finds himself searching for odd jobs to pay for the "perfect gift" for his Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday. There he finds the flawless present. Meanwhile, under Paddington's supervision, the prison canteen replaces gruel with marmalade sandwiches and petit fours. Somehow, "Paddington 2" is so sweet and moving and amusing and imaginative and attractive that it's impossible not to be charmed by this thing.

Grant does a breathtaking more-is-more performance here, creating an abysmal ham with haughty visions of grandiosity using his "acting" skills to don elaborate disguises.

Poor Paddington is sent to prison where he lets a red sock get into the laundry turning all the black and white stripe uniforms black and pink!

Paddington in prisonCourtesy of Warner Bros. (He and Paddington coveted the same curio in that shop, a pop-up book that clearly has more than aesthetic value.) Grant shines nearly as brightly here as he did in "Florence Foster Jenkins", finding the flawless mix of nastiness and harmlessness that makes for a great kiddie villain. The book, however, contains clues to a vast fortune, hidden away somewhere in London. It's up to the Browns and their beloved bear to catch the real thief and discover what mysteries lie in the book. While Buchanan seeks the treasure, the Browns search for evidence of Paddington's innocence, and Paddington adjusts to life in prison - or, more accurately, prison adjusts to him. They are busy trying to nail Buchanan for the theft but miss visiting day, convincing sad Paddington that they've forgotten him. The year has just begun, but I know one of my favorite scenes of 2018 is Paddington deciding to wash a grumpy neighbor's windows for free, which literally and figuratively brings light into that neighbor's life.

2014's "Paddington" was a little miracle of a movie.

Grant, as well-known as he is, rarely appears in truly family-friendly fare. These scenes are a showcase for cinematographer Erik Wilson, who has clearly been studying his Wes Anderson, and once the commissary becomes a confectionery, all the inmates get to dip in and out of the frame so they're in on the joke. There are no "no-go zones"; even a prison full of roughnecks can be a chance to help people in need.

But unfortunately, unbeknownst to Paddington, there is someone else who has been eyeing the book.

Paddington 2 is nothing short of adorable! This is a tough balance to pull off - contrast this film to Frank Darabont's The Majestic where the sweetness of the characters makes you want to claw your nails on their faces. It's all beautifully made, delivering wondrous visual effects and magically conceived sequences that are often more impressive than those of films thrice this scale.

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