Movie Review

Nanny McPhee

MPAA Rating: PG for mild thematic elements, some rude humor and brief language

Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
CONTRIBUTOR

Good
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family, Kids
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
2006
USA Release:
January 27, 2006 (wide)
DVD: May 9, 2006
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

Sequel to this film: “Nanny McPhee Returns” (2010)

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DVD Features
Nanny McPhee DVD
  • “Hilarious Gag Reel”
  • Village Life—“The behind-the-scenes mysteries of creating the fantastic sets are revealed”
  • Nanny McPhee Makeover—“See Emma Thompson’s magical transformation into the homely Nanny McPhee, snaggletooth and all”
  • Casting the Children—“A look at the process of casting the children, including exploring their backgrounds and experiences in acting. Features the trials and tribulations of working with children and animals.”
  • How Nanny McPhee Came to Be—A featurette about the life and work of author Christianna Brand and Illustrator Edward Adrizzone.
  • Feature Commentary with Actor/Screenwriter Emma Thompson and Producer Lindsay Doran
  • Seven deleted scenes, including an alternate opening
Featuring: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Kelly MacDonald, Celia Bannerman
Director: Kirk Jones
Producer: Lindsay Doran, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“You’ll Learn To Love Her. Warts And All.”

“That which is loved is always beautiful.” ~ Norwegian Proverb

As a parent who also loves films, I have often asked myself if there would ever be a movie that “had it all.” So often, a “family film” seems to simply be an adult film which has been dumbed-down to be semi-appropriate for children. Despite the strong cast in “Nanny McPhee”, I did not have high hopes for the film. The release date had been postponed in the US, which is seldom a good sign. The trailers gave us a peek at a film which was obviously quite visually stunning with a strong and amazingly talented cast—vibrant and visually enchanting, a family film.

Based on a series of British books published for children in the 60’s, titled Nurse Matilda and written by Christianna Brand, comes the story of “Nanny McPhee”. Emma Thompson (who won an Academy Award in 1995 for the adapted screenplay of “Sense and Sensibility”) wrote the screenplay for this film over the course of nine years. Ms. Thompson remarked that one day, while dusting her bookshelf, she happened upon the Nurse Matilda books and suddenly remembered reading them as a child. As she thumbed through them, she got the idea that perhaps the character in these books would make a great movie. What started, then, as the inspiration of a possibility, transformed over time into a film which is already being deemed a classic. Under the direction of Kirk Jones (“Waking Ned Devine”), “Nanny McPhee” is sort of like “The Sound of Music” meets “Mary Poppins”—less the musical angles of those films.

As the film opens, we see a nanny running from a house screaming. We soon learn that she was the family’s seventeenth nanny, and the seven Brown children—Simon, Tora, Eric, Lily, Christianna, Sabastian and Baby Aggy—are quite satisfied with how quickly they scared her away. They have worked together to develop quite a reputation for misbehaving and are adamant that they don’t want or need a nanny.

Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) can’t possibly raise them alone, as his wife died a year or so before. Mr. Brown still clearly loves his wife and will sit, in the evenings, near her chair and talk to her. He doesn’t seem to know how to go on without her, and yet has no choice but to find a new wife. The family’s evil Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) has been supplementing the families income due to Mr. Brown’s inability to provide adequately for his children. Now she threatens to tear the family apart and send him to debtor’s prison if he does not marry within the month. In an effort to protect his children, he has kept this truth from them.

While alone, the children talk of how much they miss their father and how much he has changed since their mother has been gone. The reasons may have been kept from them as to why their father is seeking a new wife, but they are smart enough to figure out that they would soon have a step mother, and they do not like this at all. In fact, that is the very reason that they have become so ill-behaved and unmanageable.

During a conversation with their scullery maid Evangeline (Kelly Macdonald), the only person who seems to speak candidly with the children or understand their choices or intentions, the children mention how in every fairy tale the step mother is evil and wicked, and they will do everything they can to stop their father from remarrying for that very reason.

Exasperated at the loss of their seventeenth nanny, Mr. Brown heads back to the nanny agency only for them to tell him there are no more nannies left. It is there where he first hears mention of Nanny McPhee. Over a short while, he continues to hear mention of this nanny, but can find no way of contacting her. Finally, one stormy evening as the children have spiraled completely out of control, she comes knocking at the Brown’s front door. Mr. Brown finds himself startled by her quite hideous appearance and is therefore disinterested in receiving her help. When his reluctance becomes evident, Nanny McPhee begins questioning him about his children’s behavior. “Do your children go to bed on time?” “Do they get up when they are told?” “Do they dress themselves?” “Do they say please and thank you?”

Despite his inability to truly answer her questions, he still finds himself unable to believe that this ugly little woman could be of any help. Before he has time to actually compose himself and say so though, Nanny McPhee heads straight to the kitchen where all chaos has broken loose due to the rebellion of the children. With something like magic, she is able to get the children to obey her, leaving Mr. Brown with the conclusion that his children need this nanny.

Up front, Nanny McPhee tells the family that she is there to teach them 5 lessons. When those 5 lessons have been learned, then she must go; telling the children “There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me, but do not want me…, then I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me—then I have to go.” With each lesson that is learned, we see transformations take place, both in the lives of the Brown family as well as with Nanny McPhee. What follows is a story that is well balanced in both heartwarming and zany ways. Though quite fictitious and fairy tale-like, there is so much about the Brown family which is real and relatable.

With an abundance of color and eye-popping sets, “Nanny McPhee” is a brilliantly visual and poetic example of how different the truth looks between the eyes of a child and the perception of an adult.

The Good: (possible spoilers ahead)

I have heard many parents complain about how entertainment geared towards children seems to portray parents as mindless and easily outwitted. Though, at first, it may appear that this movie falls into that category (i.e., Mr. Brown and how he relates to his children), it couldn’t be farther from the truth. As with the character or Mr. Brown, we as parents quite often allow our need to control the situations around us that we don’t always allow our children the opportunities they need to learn or grow. I see the character of Mr. Brown as a very human analogy of a father. The example of Mr. Brown is also perfect in regards to showing us that good intentions do not always turn out well, and just because our intentions may have been based on good does not mean that we made the right decision.

Though it is with something similar to magic, the main resource that Nanny McPhee uses to teach these children to behave is natural consequence. For parents and children alike, this movie sheds light on the importance of natural consequences and how regardless of our age, this is how we learn best. The situations in this film will open a doorway for valuable conversations with younger children, as well as several possible “Ah Ha” moments for parents.

As transformations take place among the characters, we begin to see how powerful love truly is. There is a Norwegian proverb which says “That which is loved is always beautiful.” That sentence perfectly sums up the theme of this film, as it offers an example of true beauty and the transformational power of truth, trust and love. As the children learn their lessons and become more respectful, and as Mr. Brown learns to listen and open up more to include his children, and as the Brown family grows strong and united (willing to make enormous sacrifices for one another), we see Nanny McPhee also begin to transform, losing bits of her ugliness. It leaves one with the question “has her appearance really changed or have the Brown’s simply changed in the way they see her?”

Throughout the story, Nanny McPhee encourages the children to think, to use their resources, to figure out what they can do without someone doing it for them. Again, another valuable kernel of wisdom can be pulled from this film and a gateway for conversation with children can be opened. In a conversation between Nanny McPhee and Mr. Brown, she mentions that she is teaching them 5 lessons. He responds with “Surely they have learned more than that!” to which she replies “I have 5 lessons to teach, what they learn is entirely up to them.”

Cautions

There really aren’t many things to say here. There are a few times when “Good Lord” is uttered, but the language overall was quite clean.

Mr. Brown works in a funeral home, and therefore we see a few scenes shot around caskets or corpses. It is quite tame, but angled a bit darkly.

In the beginning of the film, the children are blatantly disrespectful and untruthful. Though this does change, their defiance is often done to be funny.

There is a dark theme amidst the movie that could frighten small children—the children’s mother is dead, the nature of Mr. Brown’s employment, and the cruel Aunt Adelaide.

Nanny McPhee uses a stick which seems to somehow be magical, and therefore, in the beginning of the film, the children question if perhaps she is a witch. It is a fleeting conversation, and you learn that she isn’t a witch. Though it never really explains how Nanny McPhee has the ability to do magic, it also isn’t anything at all like casting spells or true witchcraft.

Before Nanny McPhee comes, when the children are flat out monstrous, there is a scene where they claim to have cooked the baby and are eating it. Though it turns out to be a big joke, this may offend some people, and I felt it should be noted.

In a scene where Mr. Brown is on a sort of “date” with Ms. Quickly (whom he intends to marry), the children pull a lot of pranks in an effort to scare her away. Mr. Brown catches on though, and in his attempts to thwart their efforts, he finds himself falling on top of Ms. Quickly several times, leaving her to think he would rather have a sexual relationship with her instead of marrying her. Though done innocently, I also felt it should be noted. In a scene not long after that, she is seen at her home with a friend drinking a clear liquid, implied to be alcohol, and she may be drunk.

Bottom Line

It is my opinion that finally there is a film that does seem to have it all. Brilliant production quality, moving and engaging story, witty dialogue, visually stunning to watch, beautiful score, flawless make up and costume design, incredible cast—each giving their best performances—and endless amounts of wisdom, laughter, touching scenes and truths to take with you as the credits roll. I found it touching and beautiful and can only hope that it raises the bar on family productions and challenges other engaging films to follow.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None

copyright, Universal PicturesSee Misty’s INTERVIEW with Emma Thompson, Director Kirk Jones, Colin Firth and the children of “Nanny McPhee”


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—…My children, 5 and 8, really enjoyed the film, as did my husband and I. I have read the review above and would say it is right on. This is a film for children, and we must remember that children love to make believe. If we take all of the imagination from them, how will they learn to dream of making a difference in this world? This movie is a reminder to parents to use the good sense God gave us when we discipline and to listen to our children when we don’t understand their behavior. I am recommending this movie to all my friends who have children, but make sure you see it with them. It will give you a great starting point to discuss how and why you discipline, and if we take the time to talk to them about discipline they will accept it better.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Jenette, age 42
Positive—Know this right away. “Nanny McPhee” is a kids’ movie, that adults can watch and not suffer. Very much like “Mary Poppins”, but not even close to the same level of movie. If we had seen this movie perhaps several years ago when our children were younger, we might have liked it more. The kind of movie you can see as a family is rare. This movie does not follow the usual ridiculous ideas of most kid movies. Although the kids are excessively bratty and the father also excessively uninvolved and inept, it is done in a way that still makes the film enjoyable. The excessiveness works (gets by). Although it would be an area that I would have suggested they change and would add greatly to the quality or enjoyment factor. There is more “silliness” than I would like in a movie. That is where it proves to be definitely a kids’ movie. The quality of the writing is simple and quick formula. A very redeeming movie. The children learn to behave, and that point is done well. Your children can learn things in watching this.

The audience laughed several times. In “Nanny McPhee” there are many scenes where they use much of the usual and unliked formula and tweek it just enough to make it work. Take the kids, they will love it, and you won’t mind it for yourself—and be comfortable for what the kids will learn.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3½
—Dale, age 44
Positive—I wanted to see Nanny McPhee and asked my 11 year old grandson to go with me. I loved most of the movie, but there are 2 areas that I think should not have been included in a film that is geared to children’s entertainment. I thought that Mrs. Quickly’s cleavage was excessive and “in your face.” Also I was taken back when Angela Lansbury used the word “incest” in one scene. It was when Evangeline and Mr. Brown were going to get married, and she thought Evangeline was his daughter. It is not something I wanted so discuss with my 11 year old grandson and am glad he didn’t ask me what it meant.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 2
—Sandra White, age 64
Positive—…it is a truly funny and heart warming film! I watched it and laughed and laughed at how ridiculous everything was. The kids were the worst I’ve ever seen! To see Nanny McPhee swoop in and help them learn not only how to behave, but to help them pick the pieces up themselves of their lives and move on was very touching. The father was extremely inept, …but still, even then it was in a comical way that is charming instead of disarming. The final scene still puts a smile on my face. It made me think of how God is so gracious to us and how he lifts us up from what we were to a whole new life. What a picture of grace! Parents will enjoy this film and the kids will enjoy it as well. I think there are a lot of good conversations that can spring from this film, including talking about grace, consequences of doing wrong (sin), and also sacrifice. Even the concept of someone from one class loving someone from another class. Isn’t that ultimately what “God so loved the world” means?
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Richard McCoy, age 32
Positive—I’m one of those adults who likes to take my son to family films, but can’t abide animated and computer-animated movies. Went to this one with a little trepidation that it would be too silly and a bit of a snoozer, but I found it thoroughly enjoyable. I was able to have a good discussion with my son about consequences afterward, and he immediately pointed out that it also warns adults to be more open with their children about why they make the decisions they do. I could have lived without the vulgar names the children chose for themselves when introducing themselves to Nanny McPhee, and I was not particularly amused by the food fight near the end (in fairness, I have to admit the children found it hysterical), but in general it was a light, amusing film that I could not only sit through but enjoy. The audience applauded loudly at the end, which I have not seen in quite a while: old and young alike seemed equally enthusiastic. Except for a few minor vulgarities, there was no offensive language, and the movie was a delight.
My Ratings: Good / 3½
—Melissa L., age 50
Positive—I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, as did my children. However, there was more than a casual one time speculation on whether Nanny McPhee was a witch. The children mentioned it several times throughout the movie. It was very special to me to see how Nanny McPhee transformed during the movie. My children and I discussed this transformation, and we agreed Nanny was beautiful from the beginning. We should never judge on appearances.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Melanie, age 32
Positive—It was a pleasure to find a reasonably clean family movie that I actually enjoyed, rather than merely endured for my children’s sake. I say “reasonably clean” because there was some bathroom language and one scene in which Colin Firth’s character appeared to be amorously aggressive toward another. But that was it for dirt. I liked that the film valued discipline at home, and showed the consequences of poor discipline as chaotic and unpleasant. Rather than glorifying the children’s bad behavior, the film took a stand against it. (By contrast, see the Steve Martin remake of “Cheaper by the Dozen”, which glorifies chaos and makes it seem inevitable in a large family.) I also appreciated that the characters had empathy for one another and seemed more human than they generally do in family movies. The ending was ideal. This is definitely a movie for kids over 6. Some younger children in the theatre were frightened and consequently disruptive, so please note the PG rating before renting or viewing this movie for your littlest ones.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Ashley, age 43
Positive—When my sister said that I was going to go see this movie with her and that it was a Mary Poppins meets Sound of Music, I almost died. My two least favorite movies rolled into one. So I went and saw it, and I was dreading it; luckily it is almost a non-existent similarity between Sound of Music, besides the seven kids and the father being a widower. For me it was much funnier then Mary Poppins and the kids are more enjoyable then on most kid friendly ventures.

Emma Thompson (whom you barely recognize for the whole movie till the end) plays the nanny well, and the father and children get along well… I would have to agree with the other reviewers here that it is a funny kids film that you can sit through with out a pen light and a magazine.

My Ratings: Good / 5
—Chris, age 18
Positive—Absolutely beautiful! Predictable, but beautiful. It is so refreshing to see a movie where love is actually based on who the person is. The love also forms because the characters have known each other for a long time. Granted, we don’t see the relationship develop on-screen, but it is understood that they have known each other for many years. I get so tired of seeing movies that throw the love interests together and after they “know” each other for 2 weeks at the most, then decide they are in love with each other. It is also relieving for there to be a movie where the relationship is not taken to a physical level, but kept in the context of morality.

Granted, there is the one scene where Mr. Brown knocks Mrs. Quickley to the ground that I doubt parents would be comfortable with their children seeing. I think that a better way for him to have prevented the children from playing the tricks on Mrs. Quickly would have been to explain the situation to her, then go talk to the children. Parents should not be controlled by the children, they should guide them. But I suppose no movie is perfect.

As to the issue of “witchcraft,” it was no more implied in Nanny McPhee than in Mary Poppins or several other Disney movies. She does use magic, but it is never in the way that the Harry Potter movies or even movies like “Sleeping Beauty” or “Snow White” use it. The scenery and setting for the movie help remove it from the realm of “the real world.” Parents should explain to children that magic is not real, only imaginary.

I saw nothing else that was particularly objectionable besides the “magic” and the lack of Biblical and strong parenting. Well, the “incest” comment did take me by surprise, but it is explained that it certainly is not the case.

*Warning. SPOILER.* To close, a very positive element in Nanny McPhee is the wedding. The wedding is performed by a minister. So many movies don’t even give the implication that those “in love” will marry, much less in a Christian ceremony. **End of spoiler*

I have expressed my opinions, but I realize that it is the responsibility of parents to determine what is acceptable for their children to view and I respect that. I am grateful to my parents for limiting what movies I was exposed to when I was a child and for the guidance that their rules for acceptability still provide me with.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Laura, age 18
Positive—This is a fantastic movie. Our whole family was entertained, from the 3 year old to her 45 year old Aunt. The only problem was there were a few times my daughter was a little frightened, but she quickly got over it and was fine. I think on a smaller screen in a lit room she would have been better. The theatre is dark, so that makes it scarier. The children are made to see the consequences of their actions, and the father is made to see he needs to spend more time with the children. Very entertaining!
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—April Hardwick, age 27
Positive—I watched this movie with 3 of my children, aged 17, 11, and 9, and as we all enjoyed it. I would rate it a true family movie. The film opens with a frazzled mother of three, trying to hold things together on their farm while her husband is away, “fighting in a war”. Nanny McPhee comes in like Mary Poppins to help put things right.

Solid family values are portrayed right through this film. For example, the wife and children long for Dad’s return from war, and he is portrayed as a loving provider. The spoiled rich cousins' parents are getting divorced , and this is quite rightly shown as a sad thing to happen. The evil brother-in-law is portrayed in a comical light, but he is shown quite clearly to be the “bad guy”. He has run into trouble gambling and has promised his brother’s farm to his creditors. Two evil women are dispatched to fetch the title deeds from him or “remove his kidneys”. This suggestion may upset sensitive viewers, but it is presented in a very lighthearted way.

Elements of magic in the story may offend some viewers. For example, Nanny McPhee has a walking stick that she uses now and again as a magic wand to help “fix things.” This is very low-key, however, and bears little resemblance to true witchcraft.

The children learn Nanny McPhee’s 5 lessons, and so learn to share, to have faith,to stop fighting with one another, and so on. There are a few references in the farmyard to “pooh” when the spoiled rich cousins arrive and encounter the manure, but I felt this was done in a fun way that was not offensive. There are so many life-lessons that can be brought out from the movie. One is that beauty and fancy clothing aren’t as important as inner character. Another is to dress appropriately for the task in hand.

Another is that it is good for children to help their parents with chores. Other lessons are shown in how the farm children protect their parent’s “special” prized possessions in a few touching shows of loyalty. (For example, the children had unselfishly saved up their sugar ration coupons to make jam for their father to have. on his return.)

Overall, I found this movie fun and suitable for Christians of all ages. I would place it in a similar category to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Lyn, age 42 (South Africa)
Neutral
Neutral—…If you have any issues with words like fart, booger, shut up, poop and bosom, this may not be the film for you. Some of these words are used repeatedly. If you feel uncomfortable taking your small children to movies where women’s breasts are falling out of the tops of their dresses while they get drunk and lean all in the faces of little boys, then this may not be the movie for you. The scene in the film where the father is on a “date” with Ms. Quickly is highly under described on this site. It is foul and inappropriate. The father repeatedly rubs his face in her huge breasts when he falls on top her and when he has her pinned against a wall. Ms. Quickly also lies on the floor after falling out of her chair while Colin Firth’s face is at her lower abdomen and she says “ooh” and “ahhh.” …I was very surprised that others on this site did not find this movie offensive as my mother, sister and I all left feeling embarrassed to be there.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Catherine Burns, age 35
Neutral—Basically, a good movie for older kids. My two daughters 3 and 4 seemed very bored. To compare it to “Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins” which are full of color and life is a complete contradiction to the movie. There were a lot of dark elements for me. The reference to cooking the baby. Then in another scene, where the baby’s life once again is in jeopardy, in an effort to get the children to listen to the Nanny was just made me cringe. To the mention of witchcraft, Nanny McPhee is just more of a whimsical character, and I wish I could do some of the things she could do with my own kids. All in all, it is a good movie for kids that can watch a very slow-moving movie, not a lot of action, or change of scenery.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Christopher, age 26
Neutral—I took my two granddaughters, ages 8 and 5 along with two friends, ages 8 and 6. They were extremely restless throughout the first hour of the movie. The 5 and 6 year old were a bit afraid during the baby eating incident, the baby possibly flying into the boiling soup incident, and the dark scenes that were played out. I found it to be very dark during the first hour. I truly expected more color, music, and children-friendly scenes that have been advertised. The last 30 minutes of the movie picked up with some music, action and bright colors. Overall, we found it to be very slow moving and a little dark and scary.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Anna Rogers, age 46
Neutral—Even though the character herself was completely revolting, I was very distracted and disturbed by Ms. Quickly’s enormous cleavage. If they had left that part out, I would have thought it to be a wonderful fairy tale type of film; it would have been perfect.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—Angela, age 27
Negative
Negative—My wife and I went out to see this movie as part of an early Valentine’s day out. When we left, both of us were unhappy that we had watched it. …It had it’s comedic moments. I thought the little grunt noises of Nanny McPhee were hilarious. One thing that I do GREATLY disagree with on all of the other reviews I have read is the fact that their is no sexual content. It was not an accident that Ms. Quickly was dressed the way she was and that the camera kept focusing on very specific body parts. What about the scene when the children were playing their pranks? I found that inappropriate and very untasteful. There was enough innuendo that, in my opinion, this would make inappropriate for any family raising their children with biblical values where we are told not to even let there be a hint of immorality among us. (Let’s not even talk about the inference of incest.) Then you can’t leave out the source of Nanny McPhee’s power. Correct that we are never told. However, the only time it is ever attributed to anything it is Witchcraft. I think that with the fact that movies like Harry Potter have been slowly glamorizing witchcraft and slowly desensitizing a generation to something God says should not be named anywhere among us should cause us to greatly question this movie. I highly caution parents. This may not be the type of movie you want your child to see if you are looking for clean, safe and wholesome family entertainment from a biblically based perspective.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Jeremy Grey, age 31
Negative—I loved the movie although I have to say it as usual plays on the whole Harry Potter and other movies now that show witchcraft and other low-key offenses to our FATHER in Heaven. The showing of a person/entity that can change and transform situations. The whole movie was fun but I wonder how many children of the Mary Poppins and now Nanny McPhee/Harry Potter era will relate to GOD OUR FATHER when there is so much witchcrafty hidden in children’s movies???
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Patricia Karich, age 49
Comments from young people
Positive—I was not that excited about the movie at first. I went and saw it because my 9-year-old sister wanted to. I was pleasantly surprised. This movie promotes family togetherness, the need for discipline and children’s need for attention from their parents. There were a few parts I thought were not necessary (esp. the VERY low cut of Mrs. Quickley’s dress and the idea that Mr. Brown and Evangeline marrying was incest). My sister loved it and did not even notice the negative things. The acting was good, and the children actors were very convincing; making you dislike them at first and then when they turn nice you think that they are completely adorable and lovable. I would recommend this movie for children because even though there are negative elements, it will probably go right over their heads. “Nanny McPhee” is a positive movie filled with good messages. I liked it.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Isabella R., age 14
Positive—Upon first seeing the commercials for “Nanny Mcphee,” I was at first hesitant about the film. I deemed it as something along the lines of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” or even nearer to the infamous “Harry Potter” series. But all prejudices and unjustifiable claims faded as the movie began. I was ultimately and pleasantly surprised by the film and found it most refreshing. In this day and age, it is almost nil that there is truly a classic to be discovered and both my mom and I found it.

Without giving too much of what you can expect, here is a basic summary of “Nanny McPhee.” A family of seven children and their father Mr. Brown, having lost both a loving mother and a dedicated wife to illness, are in desperate needs of a nanny. Unable to hold a nanny for any permanent period of time due to the terrible and mischievous deeds of his children, Mr. Brown goes back to the Agency in search of the perfect replacement. “Nanny McPhee is the One you need” is the only reply he receives from the closed doors and shutters of the Agency. While he is at home,the answer to his problems, Nanny McPhee, arrives at his doorstep. And that’s when the real adventure begins for the Brown family. Of course, the children are sure that this nanny is no different from other nannies and that she’ll be just as easy to rid the household of. Quite quickly they discover that she is more than she appears and thus learn, through many mishaps, to appreciate the values she wants to give them.

This film, I would have to say, is such a delight because it reveals to both the parental and young audience how important it is to teach respect and discipline to your elders, right and wrong, and the understanding to know the blessings or consequences of your actions.…
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—The Writer, age 16
Positive—…This movie is really good for Christian kids my age! It was very funny, and I learned from it. For one thing, I learned that looks can be deceiving. [SPOILER!] I liked the cool twist of how Nanny McPhee got prettier as the kids got nicer. I don’t think kids who watch this will be disappointed!
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Quinn Shea, age 10