Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Nanny McPhee

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some rude humor and brief language.
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Comic situation with accidental groping and references
Alcohol/Drugs:Sherry
Violence/Scariness:Comic violence and peril, no one hurt, but there are shots of dead bodies in a mortuary
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006

There are seven children in the Brown family, and they are all very clever and exceedingly naughty. The 16th nanny has just quit because she thought she saw the six older children eating the baby. The nanny agency refuses to send over another candidate. Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) does not know what to do. And rich Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) says that if he doesn’t get married by the end of the month, she will stop sending the money they need to pay for their house.


Enter Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson). She has two huge warts, a nose like a potato, and a snagletooth. She also has a big, gnarled staff, and when she hits the ground with it, surprising things happen. She tells the children that when she is needed but not wanted, she will stay, but when she is wanted but not needed, she will go.


Thompson, who also wrote the screenplay, clearly enjoys her outlandish get-up and her crisp but understated and dryly humorous delivery is perfectly suited to the part of the un-ruffleable nanny. Firth’s addled but affectionate father and Kelly Macdonald as a sympathetic housemaid add some substance and sweetness. Thomas Sangster (Love Actually with Thompson and Firth) as the oldest of the Brown children, has a light comic touch.

The movie is a little too self-consciously charming, set in a village so twee it would not be out of place in a Christmas display, with owlish children making adorably precocious quips. And some of the humor seems forced or even creepy, as when we see Mr. Brown working in a mortuary. But it is highly entertaining to see the children misbehave — and to see them get their comeuppance, and the happy ending, if unsurprising, is welcome and satisfying.

Parents should know that there is some gruesome humor and comic peril (no one hurt). There is a comic situation involving some accidental but graphic groping and a woman who takes this as evidence of her sexual attractiveness and a brief crude joke with the implication of incest. Some audience members may be disturbed by the (offscreen) death of the children’s mother or the potential wicked stepmother or loss of the family’s home. Mr. Brown works in a mortuary and the film includes shots of dead bodies.


Families who see this movie should talk about why the children were so naughty. What was the most important thing they learned from Nanny McPhee? What do you think about her rules? Why do her looks change? If you were nanny to the Brown children, what would you do? What does it mean to be needed but not wanted or wanted but not needed?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Mary Poppins, the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, and The Storyteller, the classic story of a man who finds a very clever way to quiet some annoying children. Like the author of the books that inspired this movie, he knows that kids love stories about naughty children.



Previous Posts

TrueSpark: Teaching Children and Teens About Character With Quality Films
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/akEWIRfjnxk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Parents and teachers who want to lear

posted 8:22:33pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Genevieve Bailey of "I Am Eleven"
There's a reason that so many heroes and heroines of classic literature are eleven years old. It is that last magical moment at the cusp of childhood and adolescence, which is what makes it so fascinating and delightful. Genevieve Bailey remembered the year she was 11 as one of the happiest of her l

posted 8:09:47pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Best TV for Kids May Be Online
Children have more choices than ever on television, but some of the best viewing for kids is online. Common Sense Media has a great list of family-friendly YouTube stars. I'd add EvanTube to the list. Newsweek calls him The Most Popular Kid You've Never Heard Of, with 272 million views of his engagi

posted 3:59:29pm Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Fifty Years of Fiddler on the Roof
The Yiddish-language stories of Sholem Alechim, collected as Tevye the Dairyman and The Railroad Stories (Library of Yiddish Classics), inspired one of the most successful, influential, and widely performed Broadway musicals of all time, "Fiddler on the Roof," which opened fifty years ago this week.

posted 8:00:47am Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Great Cinematographers on Instagram
Indiewire has a gorgeous array of Instagram feeds from Hollywood cinematographers. Be sure to talke a look so you can follow them.

posted 8:00:27am Sep. 19, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.