Film Review: Paddington @ Vue Cardiff
Director: Paul King
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters
Paddington is lovely. There's not much else that needs to be said, really.
It's a brilliant example of how good British cinema can be. Throughout the film, I felt the same comforting familiarity that comes with a repeat viewing of Love Actually (2003) or Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001). The latter felt extremely poignant as there was some crossover between the production teams of the two films.
The film focuses, unsurprisingly, on Paddington Bear, a furry British icon who you would no doubt recognise by his blue duffle coat and bright red hat. It's probable that we have all encountered this story as children, but before this film, all that I personally remembered was the image of an abandoned bear wearing a luggage tag around his neck with one paw in a jar of marmalade.
This image, of course, is the heart of Paddington's story, who follows in the footsteps of world war refugees as he escapes darkest Peru by stowing away on a London-bound boat in search of a new home. Initially, he is met with disappointment, as Londoners are not as sociable a lot as he had believed, but he is soon noticed by the Brown family. Mr Brown is wary, worried about the risks of allowing a wild beast into his home, but the persistence of his wife and children win him over.
From there, the film focuses on finding Paddington a permanent English home, one that had been promised to him by an explorer who had met his family years before. The film is equal parts comedy and heart, with the Browns and Paddington sharing their experience and knowledge with each other and growing closer and more accepting of one another. A point of the film that I particularly appreciated was that there were no cheap gags, no fart jokes or innuendos, just authentic family fun.
Now, stop reading this and grab your best friend, gran, or even just your favourite cuddly toy to go see a future British Christmas classic.
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