Paddington is a young bear, separated from his family and sent to England by boat from his home in darkest Peru. When he arrives he is charitably taken in by the Brown family. Little do they know that Paddington (Ben Whishaw) is actually part of an extremely rare species of bear and is being hunted by a ruthless taxidermist (Nicole Kidman).
I know I am extremely late watching Paddington, which has been out since November, as I had reservations about it initially. I had never really read or watched the earlier incarnations of the Peruvian bear, and I wasn’t really sure it warranted a whole film. My reservations were completely unfounded. This is hands down the loveliest film you will see for absolutely ages.
Within the first ten minutes of the film I had both laughed and cried, and I continued to do both of these things throughout. It is consistently laugh out loud funny with an uncountable number of comic cameos from essentially everyone in British television. But centrally the reason it is so funny, is because you really care about the characters. You instantly warm to Paddington – superbly voiced by Ben Whishaw – and you instantly warm to the Brown family, who may be the most spot on portrayal of a real life family I have ever seen in a movie.
I don’t know whether my personal tiredness going into the movie affected my emotional state, but I cried about six times throughout the film (discounting tears produced by laughter) which even for me is above average. Anytime anything vaguely emotion based happened to these characters I felt the same. When they are scared, so are you. When they are sad, so are you. And when they are on the edge of their metaphorical seats, you are on the edge of your real one. As for the PG rating, I can only imagine the BBFC thought the use of the word sexy was a bit racy. Or perhaps they felt Nicole Kidman’s taxidermist was a little scary (although no scarier than the child catcher from the U rated Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).
Overall, no matter what your age you will enjoy Paddington just as much as the next person. You will come out feeling warm and just wonderful. I’m actually tearing up a little bit just thinking about how lovely it is. If you haven’t seen it yet, go now quickly. If you have, go see it again. It’s absolutely wonderful.