Loved it, loved it, loved it!
I love this return to old-fashioned family fun. The humour does not rely on pop-culture references or double-entendres, it's mainly simple physical comedy. Good triumphs over evil, children learn important lessons, and qualities such as courage, faith and imagination are lauded.
We all enjoyed this one - me, hubby and the kids - and came out of the cinema smiling and discussing which were the "best bits", and who our favourite characters were.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is beautiful as the mother working at the local grocery store, keeping the family farm afloat, and looking after her three children while her husband is off fighting World War II. Her niece and nephew are evacuated from London and come to stay, adding to her burden. (Side note: her English accent is flawless.)
Maggie Smith is delightful as the slightly demented grocery store proprietor. Senility has never looked so appealing!
And of course, Emma Thompson is superb as the title character. I love the way Nanny becomes progressively less grotesque as the children learn their lessons. By the end of the movie, her beauty is breathtaking, and I couldn't take my eyes off her face.
If I must criticise the movie at all, I think we could have done the putty-eating bird. He seemed unnecessary for most of the story, and then suddenly much too convenient at the end. Surely there could have been another way to get the job done? (You'll just have to see the movie to understand what I mean.) But maybe that's just the adult in me talking.
Also, I think a couple of the special effects were simply gratuitous. But the kids liked them, so I'm obviously just an old fuddy-duddy!
A highly recommended school holiday activity.