Four years ago it was announced that David Heyman, producer of the Harry Potter series, would be turning the much loved character of Paddington Bear into a blockbuster movie. I was of course, enthralled and and have been following production of the film ever since. Casting announcements, filming rumours, trailers, the exit of Colin Firth from the cast and controversy about the films classification have all gone by and finally came my chance to watch the film. And it was amazing.
The film starts by showing explorer Montgomery Clyde travel to darkest Peru, where he befriends two bears (voiced by Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton) and teaches them about life in London. 40 years later, the bears still live in the forest, now with their young nephew, and still dream of one day travelling to London. But soon an earthquake strikes and this dream is forced to become a reality, however it is only their nephew (Paddington) who is making the journey.
He is soon picked up by the Brown family (High Bonneville, Sally Hawkins) who, although originally wary of letting a strange bear into their house, soon fall in love with the little bear. In fact the film is really about the developing relationship between the various members of the Brown family and Paddington, as they learn they cannot live without each other.
They also have to team up to defeat Millicent, an evil taxidermist who wants to stuff Paddington and put him on display in the Natural History Museum. Played by Nicole Kidman, this villain is remarkable in that she’s actually quite scary and at some points even convinced me she’s an actual threat (although obviously they wouldn’t kill off Paddington). Peter Capaldi also popped up as the Brown’s neighbour and Millicent’s henchmen – Mr Curry. If Doctor Who’s in a film, it must be good!
The movie was an excellent piece of filmmaking. From the superb cast (which also includes Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Geoffrey Palmer) to the elegant and wonderfully detailed sets (both the Brown’s house and Mr Gruber’s shop are beautifully decorated and packed with quirky items) to the storyline itself which was full of both hilarious and tear-evoking scenes.
This is a wonderful christmas treat for both adults and children alike. I mean this is literally the best film I’ve seen all year. It’s amazing, watch it!!!!