Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nanny McPhee Returns - 1/2*

The only thing in Nanny McPhee Returns that is more of an eye-sore than Emma Thompson's make-up is the rest of the movie. The whole thing. The color palette; the scenery; the props; the action going on inside the frame, like the scene in which Nanny McPhee is trying to teach five little shits to stop fighting by tapping her magic stick on the floor, causing the kids to start hitting themselves, pulling their own hair, and banging their heads against the walls. All of it. It's all bad, painful even. Like the magical child abuse scene, almost every other comedic attempt fails two-fold, not only missing completely on the humor, but also on the tone. The weirdest example of this is when Maggie Smith's character mistakes a pile of cow shit for a cushion at a picnic, is corrected, but sits in it anyway because it looks comfortable, which is followed immediately by the arrival of a telegram from the War Office saying that the kids' father has been killed, which it turns out was forged by their uncle, who has a gambling problem and is trying to convince their mother to sell the farm so that silly-serious hit-women do not remove his kidneys, which they almost do later on, but are stopped when they are literally blown away by an enormous bird-fart that also harvests a field of barley. Wholesome family entertainment, written by Academy-Award winning screenwriter, Emma Thompson.

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