Nanny McPhee (2005)

(On TV, June 2017) Often, the most difficult movies to review are the average ones. Nanny McPhee is, in many ways, a thoroughly average children’s film: It features a strong titular character, a group of kids in need of some guidance, gross-out gags, a food fight, an intensely schematic structure, plot developments seen well in advance, and a colourful imagination on display. But what makes Nanny McPhee good for kids are also what makes it dull for adult audiences: besides some performances (including Emma Thompson as the writer/star of the movie, and the ever-dependable Colin Firth as an overwhelmed dad) and production design, there really isn’t much here to grab interest. At least it works well enough for its intended audience. Otherwise, is there anything more to say?

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