She Says: It’s a dreadful ‘Nanny’ | PostIndependent.com
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She Says: It’s a dreadful ‘Nanny’

Kimberly NicolettiSpecial to the Post Independent

I approached “Nanny McPhee” in a New-Age kind of way: I revved up my inner child, telling her, “Guess what, Kimmy? We get to see a kids’ movie.” I knew it was my only shot at finding “Nanny McPhee” somewhat tolerable. But even New-Age mind games didn’t do the trick.The only thing my inner child found remotely interesting was the pink-and-green wedding cake and bride’s dress, probably because it was the exact color scheme of my childhood bedroom. The rest basically bored or disgusted me, and Kimmy.”Nanny McPhee” begins with over-the-top caricatures that most thin plots rely on. In this case, it’s yet another nanny whom Cedric Brown’s (Colin Firth) seven naughty children have run off, this time by making her believe they ate their baby sister.Granted, I’m not a mom – and movies like this convince me not to be one – but I wouldn’t want my children watching other kids pulling such horrendous pranks.Of course, the children do learn their lessons. The fairy tale, complete with bold colors, extravagant costumes and dramatic music, stars Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson). who comes to save the family. Simon Brown (Thomas Sangster), the oldest and most stubborn and mischievous son, can’t match Nanny McPhee’s magic. She disciplines the misfits by compelling them to continue their bad behavior: If they feign illness, her spell causes them to stay in bed all day with real ailments.Dramatic tension enters the picture when the children’s father insists on marrying in order to keep the family intact. Enter the evil stepmother portion of the predictable plot.The only element that helps “Nanny McPhee” – besides the color schemes – is the acting. Firth fills out his stereotypical absent dad role well; Kelly MacDonald adds warmth to her part as the servant-turned-princess, and Celia Imrie is absolutely horrid – I mean that in the best possible way – as the potential evil stepmother. Even the kids, particularly Sangster, who has refined his evil-kid look to an art, do well. Thompson seems a little stiff, but I suspect it’s because her artificial nose and fake overgrown front tooth don’t allow any natural facial expressions.Throughout, Kimmy wished she could make the nanny go away, but instead, she sat quietly, like a good little girl, waiting for the movie to end.Kimberly Nicoletti is out getting pizza and chocolate-chip cookies to reward her inner child for sitting through such a horrendous movie.


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