Nanny McPhee

Nanny McPhee

4.4 13
Director: Kirk Jones

Cast: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury


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A nanny reveals ways of making children behave that are much more effective than a time-out in this fantasy comedy based on the "Nurse Matilda" books for children by Christianna Brand. Near the dawn of the twentieth century, Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) is a widower who must tend to his business as an undertaker while looking after his brood of seven children. Brown's…  See more details below


A nanny reveals ways of making children behave that are much more effective than a time-out in this fantasy comedy based on the "Nurse Matilda" books for children by Christianna Brand. Near the dawn of the twentieth century, Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) is a widower who must tend to his business as an undertaker while looking after his brood of seven children. Brown's offspring are a singularly ill-mannered lot who have managed to drive away 17 different nannies when their father arranges for one Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) to help out with the children. McPhee is an strange looking woman with a large nose, protruding teeth, and pock-marked skin, but it isn't long before the kids realize she has magical powers and isn't afraid to use them to help keep them in line. While the children aren't taken with McPhee's insistence on such things as saying "please" and listening to their elders, it becomes clear everyone has bigger things to worry about. Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) has insisted that if Mr. Brown cannot find a new wife within a month, she'll take custody of one of the children and cut off Brown's inheritance, and while Brown and the widow Mrs. Quickly (Celia Imrie) seem fond of one another, his ineptitude in courtship seems to insure he'll never get her to the altar. But while the Brown Children realize Nanny McPhee is a formidable opponent, she can also be a valuable ally as they learn to make use of her talents by being better children; they also discover that as they behave better, she begins to look less frightening. Emma Thompson, who played the title role in Nanny McPhee, also wrote the film's screenplay.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Mary Poppins? In the Brown household, it's more like Hellzapoppin as charmingly flustered widower Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) struggles to control his seven "extremely ill behaved" children. They do not go to bed when they're told. They do not get up when they're told. They do not get dressed when they're told. They say neither "please" nor "thank you." Seventeen nannies have come and gone. But No. 18 -- Nanny McPhee -- is not so easily cowed. Emma Thompson -- who earned an Oscar for adapting Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1995) -- again performs double duty here as star and screenwriter, adapting Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda books with wit and care into a richly satisfying family film. As Nanny McPhee, Thompson makes an unsettling first impression, masking her beauty behind warts, a bulbous nose, a protruding snaggletooth, and a dour mono-brow. She also has a confounding habit of suddenly materializing out of nowhere ("I did knock," she quietly insists). No spoonfuls of sugar for her. She has a walking stick that dispenses some macabre (and later, wondrous) magic whenever she taps it on the ground. With each improvement in the children's behavior, Nanny McPhee's various blemishes disappear. "When you need me but do not want me, then I will stay," she informs her charges. "When you want me but do not need me, then I have to go." Boy, do they need her; not only to become better-behaved children but to foil the nasty Mrs. Quickly, whom Mr. Brown rather reluctantly prepares to marry to ensure that formidable Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) will continue to financially support the family. Little does Mr. Brown know of his sweet scullery maid Evangeline's (Kelly Macdonald) unrequited love for him, and surely it will "snow in August," the downcast young woman states, before such a fairy-tale romance will come true. Nanny McPhee is not as transcendently supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as Mary Poppins, yet parents seeking a film that can work its considerable magic on the entire household.
All Movie Guide
There's a saying -- or, there should be -- that you can judge a family film by the quality of its moppets. Child actors who are both cute and talented are a must, or else even the world's best story might end up on the scrap heap. Kirk Jones' Nanny McPhee has all the makings of classic material, then: a timeless story, a delightful cast of precocious children, a truly magical production design, and the cream of the crop among adult actors. (As one of those actors, Emma Thompson's presence isn't surprising, given that she adapted the screenplay from Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda books.) Nanny McPhee contains the perfect blend of the whimsical and the macabre, in keeping with an age-old fairy-tale tradition. The story certainly features details that require a delicate touch, namely, a child who decapitates dolls with a guillotine, and a parent (Colin Firth) who works in a funeral parlor. But because Thompson and Jones keep the tone lightly absurd, these elements are not too scary for younger children. Nor is Thompson's creepy title character, whose methods walk the line between strictness and malevolence, and whose appearance is a makeup artist's dream of prosthetic nastiness. Of course, the story eventually boasts great warmth and compassion as its lessons unfold, particularly during the delicious conclusion -- "delicious" quite literally, as the characters become spattered with colorful gobs of cake icing. In addition to Firth, Thompson and the children (led by Love Actually's Thomas Sangster), two others deserve special mention: Kelly MacDonald as the Browns' darling scullery maid, and Angela Lansbury, hilarious as the stuffy old coot who dictates their fortunes. Thompson's character explains that when the children start wanting her rather than needing her, it's time for her to move on. Indeed, Nanny McPhee leaves its viewers wanting more, too.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Hilarious gag reel; Seven deleted scenes including an alternate opening; 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

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Emma Thompson Nanny McPhee
Colin Firth Mr. Brown
Angela Lansbury Aunt Adelaide
Kelly MacDonald Evangeline
Patrick Barlow Mr. Jowls
Thomas Sangster Simon Brown
Jenny Daykin Lily
Raphael Coleman Eric
Samuel Honywood Sebastian
Holly Gibbs Christianna
Hebe Barnes Baby Agatha
Zinnia Barnes Baby Agatha
Derek Jacobi Mr. Wheen
Phyllida Law Viscountess Cumbermere,Mrs. Partridge
Celia Imrie Mrs. Quickly
Imelda Staunton Mrs. Blatherwick
Eliza Bennett Eliza Brown

Technical Credits
Kirk Jones Director
Tim Bevan Producer
Henry Braham Cinematographer
Liza Chasin Executive Producer
Lindsay Doran Producer
Patrick Doyle Score Composer
Nic Ede Costumes/Costume Designer
Eric Fellner Producer
Michelle Guish Casting
Simon Hayes Sound/Sound Designer
Debra Hayward Executive Producer
Mark Holt Special Effects Supervisor
Michael Howells Production Designer
Justin Krish Editor
Nick Moore Editor
Glynis Murray Co-producer
Matt Robinson Art Director
Gareth Tandy Asst. Director
Emma Thompson Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Nanny McPhee [WS]
1. Chapter 1 [4:12]
2. Chapter 2 [6:45]
3. Chapter 3 [4:12]
4. Chapter 4 [9:40]
5. Chapter 5 [4:08]
6. Chapter 6 [3:49]
7. Chapter 7 [6:15]
8. Chapter 8 [9:27]
9. Chapter 9 [6:34]
10. Chapter 10 [6:15]
11. Chapter 11 [7:15]
12. Chapter 12 [5:11]
13. Chapter 13 [5:03]
14. Chapter 14 [7:53]
15. Chapter 15 [4:57]
16. Chapter 16 [6:45]


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Nanny McPhee 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love this movie at all.,.,i want that kind of that nanny.,.,i love you nanny mCphee
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Guest More than 1 year ago
My family enjoyed watching this movie. It was on the same line as Lemony Snickits movie. My husband and I enjoyed watching it with the kids.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very skeptical of seeing this movie because I thought that it would be a knock off of Mary Poppins, which I too enjoyed as a child. After watching this with my kids I felt bad for thinking so negatively about it. The kids really love it especially my 8 year old daughter. The only things that the movies really have in common are that they are both set in England and deal with nannies. The feel of the picture is very child-friendly as characters are brightly coloured and comically exaggerated (such as Nanny McPhee's facial features) and while the humour is a little basic, there is enough slapstick of the "Mousetrap" variety in there to keep most people happy. Emma Thompson is wonderful as the ugly but gradually beautified nanny, Colin Firth shines as the father, and the supporting cast of seven fantastic child actors (Thomas Sangster, Eliza Bennett, Jennifer Rae Daykin, Raphael Coleman, Sam Honywood, Holly Gibbs, and the infant sisters Barnes), Imelda Stanuton ('Vera Drake'), Celia Imrie ('Calendar Girls'), Angela Lansbury, and even Derek Jacobi and Patrick Barlow in small supporting roles make this fairy tale entertaining and informative. I thought the screenplay was well put together, and again Emma did a great job not only writing it but also acting. Although most viewers will figure out the ending early on, it's not so obvious how the story is going to get there. There are several interesting surprises and twists along the way, and as presented in the movie, the storyline exercises enough "poetic license" to allow disagreement over what the story is saying about life and love. Good camera work, good sets, and very well crafted. If you like well produced, "feel good", "fairy tale", type movies, you should be pleased with this one. I most importantly like to say don't judge a book… I mean movie…. by its cover. I highly recommend it for everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a visually outstanding movie...The costumes,langauge,and scenery...The actors are filled with wit and great acting...It is been a long time since i have seen actors that really know how to act..and take pleasure in relaying a character to the viewing audience...
Dragons01 More than 1 year ago
You have here a story of a man who has lost his wife leaving in his care their 7 children. The late wife took care of everything and now he has to learn to do what she did and learn who his chilcren really are. He is surrounded by a cook who doesn't like her kitchen invaded, and a maid who is learning to read. Enter Nanny McPhee (somewhat like Mary Poppins, except the looks). She helps the father reconnect with his kids and as he does and the kids learn some valuable lessons her looks change. A very good family movie.
InkHeart-number-1-fan More than 1 year ago
This movie rocks! I love the child actors/actresses! Elizabeth Hope Bennett (InkHeart, The Prince and Me, The contractor, Supernova) is the BEST teen actress EVER! She's my inspiration!!!!! She's amazing! I can't wait to see her in InkHeart!
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