For Reel

Paddington (2014)
February 1, 2015, 1:59 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Paul King
4 Stars
PaddingtonA surprising delight from writer-director Paul King (who helmed the cult classic British comedy series The Mighty Boosh), Paddington adapts the beloved Michael Bond books into an endlessly charming family film. It’s a marvel of production design and cinematography, with such a focus on symmetry and primary colors that one might mistake it for a Wes Anderson picture (a device in which the Brown family’s home is shot like a diorama feels like a deleted scene from Moonrise Kingdom). Moreover, while it satisfies with clever puns, visual flair, and satisfying Rube Goldberg slapstick sequences, it is legitimately touching as a story about outcasts and even the importance of multiculturalism. Unlike Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s brand of clever but manically paced children’s fare, Paddington capably strikes the complementary chords of sweet and sophisticated, breezy and elegant. The always terrific Sally Hawkins is perfectly cast as the matriarch–she’s Poppy from Happy-Go-Lucky all grown up, an unflappable vision of kindliness.

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