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The Films of Paul King

Bunny and the Bull

Paddington (May 7/18)

Inspired by the character created by Michael Bond, Paddington follows the title protagonist, a friendly, anthropomorphic bear, as he relocates to London and eventually moves in with Hugh Bonneville's Henry and Sally Hawkins' Mary and their two children (Madeleine Harris' Judy and Samuel Joslin's Jonathan) - with the narrative detailing Paddington's fish-out-of-water exploits and, eventually, his conflict with an evil museum curator named Millicent (Nicole Kidman). Filmmaker Paul King has infused Paddington with a bright, fast-paced feel that generally proves difficult to resist, with the pervasively affable atmosphere heightened by a proliferation of agreeable elements - with, in particular, the movie benefiting strongly from the efforts of an across-the-board stellar cast (and this is to say nothing of Ben Whishaw's completely charming voice work as Paddington). It's equally clear, though, that King's decidedly kid-friendly sensibilities ensure that the whole thing is often just a little too lighthearted for comfort, with the inoffensive vibe perpetuated by an episodic structure that ultimately does wreak havoc on the film's tenuous momentum (yet there's little doubt that the climactic stretch is just as exciting and engaging as one might've hoped). The end result is a decent adaptation that's obviously been designed to appeal to kids more than older viewers, although it's virtually impossible not to get an ongoing kick out of King's continuously creative approach to the material.

out of

Paddington 2

© David Nusair