The Bear With The English Flair (Film Thoughts: Paddington)

What the hell am I doing watching “Paddington?” I am not really a fan of children’s movies, and I always feel like a pedophile when I go to the movie house and see all these kids around me.  But I am such an Anglophile, and I love the Paddington Bear, and of course this movie is set in London, my favorite European city, and add that Paddington bear is voiced by the sublime Ben Whishaw means I really should pay attention to this movie. So I did, and I kind of liked it. It’s still just a tad too juvenile for my taste, but there’s enough wit here that kept my attention. The film tells the plight of a bear from the deepest darkest of Peru, who comes to London because an explorer discovered them ages ago and told them you can come to London anytime you want. So he does, and is adopted by a British family, while he searches for the explorer. Mishaps ensue, and hilarity begins. It’s all nice and well until Nicole Kidman shows up as a taxidermist wanting to stuff Paddington. Is she hurting that bad that she agrees to do this movie? She used to choose such edgy roles. Whishaw injects a lot of pathos to the bear role that you feel and relate. A couple of critics have commented that this movie is a great commentary on the issue of immigration, and I agree, though the message is subtle enough not to be heavy-handed. It’s a good idea for kids to watch and empathize.

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