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Nanny McPhee Returns movie poster

Nanny McPhee Returns: Movie Review

Genre: Comedy, Family
Rated: PG
Directed by: Susanna White
Starring: Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor
Released by: Universal Pictures

In Short: Emma Thompson returns as Nanny McPhee in another winning adaptation of the "Nurse Matilda" books, one that is sure to charm adults and delight children once again.

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"Nanny McPhee" Makes a Triumphant Return

It's been five years since we met the wart-covered, bulbous-nosed, snaggle-toothed Nanny McPhee, the woman with a face only a mother—or young children in need of some structure in their lives—could love. Now "Nanny McPhee Returns," with the wonderful Emma Thompson once again taking on the role of the nanny, as well as the screenwriter of the film. And she's done it again, creating a wonderful world that both children and adults will adore.

This sequel takes place many, many years after the original, as England is at war (with Germany, but that is never specified in the story) and the Green family is a bit of a wreck. Mr. Green (Ewan McGregor, in a charming cameo role) is off at war, and Mrs. Green (the lovely Maggie Gyllenhaal) has her hands full, trying to keep the family farm afloat and wrangle her three unruly children at the same time.

When the children's two wealthy cousins are sent to the country to escape the bombing in London, everything gets completely out of control. That is, until Nanny McPhee arrives, ready to teach the five kids some fundamental life lessons—and to put some discipline into their chaotic lives as well.

Rosie Taylor-Ritson in Nanny McPhee Returns Emma Thompson in Nanny McPhee Returns

For Nanny McPhee has magical powers, and she's not afraid to use them. The kids soon begin to realize that she's more than they can handle, and begin to learn that cooperation and camaraderie make life more interesting than chaos and confrontation. She's got life lessons to teach, and so does the film, but it does so in a way that younger viewers never realize they've learned a few important things as they enjoyed the fun of the movie.

"Nanny McPhee Returns" is an ideal film for kids ranging from 5 to 10, but when the pigs start to fly (and do some hilarious synchronized swimming, too), there's no doubt that anyone of any age will be giggling along with the kids.

(Updated: 08/20/10 SG)

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