Sequel makes a big bang
Barry C Chung
Nanny McPhee returns with her signature cockney accent in the fun family flick Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang. The film is a sequel to the 2005 original, which is based on the Nurse Matilda series of books penned by the late Christianna Brand.
The story is set in wartime England, and Isabel (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is left as the sole breadwinner and guardian of the Green children after Rory (Ewan McGregor), their father, goes to battle. Isabel can barely cope with the duties and poverty threatens to force her to concede ownership of their farm. Meanwhile, the children's spoiled cousins arrive from London to escape the bombings, and there is chaos.
Then one day Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) magically arrives on Isabel's doorstep to save the day.
Directed by Susanna White, the sequel blends a strong moral message behind a wonderful concept. McPhee's gradual mutation from witch to angel is brilliant, and the clever word play will be a delight for youngsters.
Gyllenhaal puts on a wonderful performance as the caring yet overworked mum. However, fans of McGregor will be disappointed.
His screen-time has been reduced to less than two minutes. Talk about a waste of talent! But the film still comes through as a delightful addition to the genre that Marry Poppins created almost 50 years ago.