Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang is the sequel to Nanny McPhee, directed by Susanna White, written by Emma Thompson and starring Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Ewan McGregor, Bill Bailey, Ralph Fiennes and Maggie Smith.
Mrs. Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has a rather difficult life: Her husband (Ewan McGregor) is at war (and hasn’t sent a letter for quite some time). Her brother-in-law (Rhys Ifans) is pressuring her to sell her half of the farm they own. She works for the elderly Mrs. Docherty (Maggie Smith) who shows signs of dementia but doesn’t recognise it. Her three kids (Asa Butterfield, Oscar Steer and Lil Woods) are really wild and especially nervous since their cousins (Eros Vlahos and Rosie Taylor-Ritson) are about to come live with them to escape London in the war. That’s when the magical Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) appears, to make Mrs. Green’s life a little easier, but mostly to teach the five kids five lessons.
If you’ve seen the first Nanny McPhee film, you know what to expect: adorable entertainment for the whole family. Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang does not disappoint at all. Quite to the contrary, it might even be more spectacular and even sweeter.
The thing that stands out about this film is the absolutely awesome cast. Not only that the kids all do a great job, but it was also amazing to have that kind of supporting cast. It seemed like every five minutes another well-known (and well-loved) face popped up to do their five minutes. Since I hadn’t bothered to read a cast list beforehand, most of them actually came as a surprise to me, which was pretty awesome.
But also the leading ladies, Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhaal were magnificent. Maggie Gyllenhaal puts on a flawless British accent and owns her role as the slightly overstrained and definitely overworked mother who tries desperately not to let her own loneliness and desperation influence her kids. Infuckingcredible to watch.
The script was great. Setting this fairy tale against the backdrop of WWII is a stroke of genius – on the one hand, it makes the story itself more poignant and more precious, on the other hand, it approaches a heavy subject in a playful manner and therefore makes it accessible.
I also loved the small feminist points that were threaded throughout the whole film: Starting with the two hitwomen, Miss Topsey (Sinead Matthews) and Miss Turvey (Katy Brand), who were absolutely terrifying and still didn’t have to give up their femininity (or use it), to Meggsie (one of the kids) being the one with the tool belt – and still loving shoes, to Nanny McPhee coming to the aid of Mrs. Green and not the kids. That is awesomeness.
Oh, and I loved the costume design.
Summarising: Recommended for everyone with kids and everybody else who just wants to have a nice entertaining evening.