PaddingtonDVD of the Week Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
dvd of the week
The wondrous Paddington was freely adapted from the children’s book series by Michael Bond that began in 1958. Paddington is a rare intelligent talking bear from Darkest Peru, and in Paul King’s film, he sets off for London to find a new home after the forest where he lived with his aunt and uncle is destroyed. When he arrives, he stands in Paddington Station and hopes someone will take him in. The Brown family do, over the objections of father Henry (Hugh Bonneville) but with the great support of mother Mary (Sally Hawkins). While Paddington tries to fit into the world he doesn’t understand – with typical slapstick results – an evil taxidermist (Nicole Kidman) is determined to stuff the poor bear and display him in a museum. This subplot is a little too similar to 101 Dalmatians, but the execution of the whole story is sweeter, smarter and much more charming. Hawkins is particularly wonderful as the wise and emotionally grounded mother, and Bonneville does a great curmudgeon. The kids, Madeleine Harris as Judy and Samuel Joslin as Jonathan, are both winning as well. And Ben Wishaw, the out gay actor best known as Q in the new James Bond films, does Paddington’s voice with perfect whimsy.
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