Paddington 2

I’m not sure what happened, really. I saw Paddington 2 all by lonesome in a cozy dark theatre on a snowy afternoon and then promptly forgot to tell you all about it, apparently. I think it got swept up by the Black Panther press screening we attended later (is that right? I don’t even know anymore!).

Anyway, the bear. The bear is cute and cuddly and everything that is right with movies generally and family movies in particular. It does not particularly pander to adults (aside from that nostalgia factor) but its earnestness and whimsical panache will reel you in like a bear to marmalade.

Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonneville are back and Mary and Henry Brown, the big-hearted couple who adopted sweet Paddington in the first movie. He’s well ensconced in the Brown family, but gets into a bit of a scrape when his plan to earn money doing odd jobs (VERY odd jobs) for his aunt Lucy’s birthday present goes Brody-Paddington-2awry. Basically he’s chosen too good a gift, and someone beats him to it – a thief! But it’s poor Paddy who gets the blame, and somehow he gets thrown into gen pop prison, even though a) he’s a bear and b) he’s really just a cub. It says terrible things about Britain’s criminal justice system, when you think about it. Anyway, while in prison he falls in with rather a rough crowd, as tends to happen, and soon he’s Knuckles’ bitch. I mean, it’s decidedly less vulgar than I’m implying. He and Brendan Gleeson basically make sandwiches together until until either they escape or the Brown family gets their shit together.

Hugh Grant joins the cast as a rather seedy actor, a part he seems quite qualified to play. In fact, a whole Boaty McBoatload of famous British actors line up to do these movies so you can basically play a rousing round of who’s who Bingo and never come up short.

Paddington 2 still enjoys a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and I’m certainly not going to be the difference maker. It’d charm the pants right off you, if only Paddington was the sort of bear who wears pants (he’s not; he thinks a coat and hat suffice). It’s awfully sweet but not tooth-decayingly, and it’ll warm up your hibernating heart.

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25 thoughts on “Paddington 2

  1. Christopher

    The books are silly sweet fun and so was the first movie so I’m glad this one continues that.
    The really interesting thing is more generally seeing the English embrace their Englishness. Maybe they always have and we just haven’t seen it on this side of the pond, but I think of how it used to be that British films could only get screened in the U.S. if they (a) had at least one token American or (b) were remade with American actors.
    I’m sure there are a lot of reasons why that changed but I like to think that it helped that a generation of us grew up reading the Paddington books and reveling in their Englishness.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      It’s true. I think their film industry is really getting stronger by the year. They still have lots of movies that never get a release over here but you should keep your eye out for them because there’s some quality stuff.

      I definitely think we’re trusting audiences a little more to “get” things that are maybe not their own cultural standard.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  2. Liz A.

    I have heard lots of good things about this one. But the fact you completely forgot about it tells me it might be cute, but it’s rather forgettable. Like most kids movies, I suspect.

    Like

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  3. Harlon

    I should check this out, it came out a bit under my radar, but I thought thirst Paddington was brilliant with some smart social commentary about our fear of strangers. Thanks for the heads up, Harlon

    Like

    Reply

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