Thursday, 15 January 2015


UK Release Date: November 28th 2014

A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.

Director: Paul King

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon, Peter Capaldi, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Matt Lucas

Paddington Bear has been a lovable character from Michael Bond's books for over 50 years. 2014's Paddington is the first attempt at a live action film, and what a delight it is. Don't be too skeptical or discontent just yet; this bear has been rejuvenated and treated endearingly so a new generation of children can enjoy his antics once again.  The bear, from deepest, darkest Peru, equipped with his red hat and supply of marmalade, makes his journey to London to find a new home. He arrives at Paddington station, and meets the Brown family, who take him in temporarily so he can find the explorer who discovered his Aunt and Uncle long ago.

Paddington is uplifting, consistently funny and querky. The script is chock full of pleasantries and satires, with the littlest touch being the richest. Watch a painting of a tree in the Brown's house reflect the film's atmosphere or a lost and found sign above the lonely bear come in to focus. There's a lot to love; London looks fantastic and surprisingly clean. Jokes pop-up about cab drivers and the Underground, and as Paddington points out there's a place for everyone in this big city.

Colin Firth was originally on board to voice Paddington, but in hindsight, his voice doesn't match. It would be a bit odd this small, loving bear having a well-spoken, handsome voice. Thankfully those reigns were passed over to Ben Wishaw (Skyfall's Q), who's softly spoken, yet manages to bring out the best in the duffle coat hair-ball. Every actor plays their part; the Brown's are considerably heart-warming... even Hugh Bonneville who's over-protective head-of-the-house wants Padds gone from the get go. Kidman's taxidermist-come-villain Millicent wants his head on a plate, to add to her illustrious collection of stuffed animals. She looks and feels like she's plopped straight out of a Hitchcock film. Paddington broadcasts Britain's finest within Britain's brightest hotspot, or at least that's what we're led to believe, and by God, it make it so.

Verdict: Paddington is a magical spectacle, its visuals believable and poetic. A must see for the whole family.


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