Emma Thompson won't be winning another adapted-screenplay Oscar for her sophomore script, but she has written a most enjoyable combo of familiar plots and themes for the film of Nanny McPhee. Based very, very loosely on Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda books, it takes one of the most commercially trite foundations for kiddy comedies — that of the unsinkable nanny — and adds the current safe bet for family films: magic.
The result is an unnecessary but satisfying mix of light and dark comedy that should come as no surprise from
Waking Ned Devine director Kirk Jones. Finally following
up his loveable debut after seven years, he continues his ability to make death a pretty funny
concept. Devine begins with an old man croaking suddenly after winning the lottery;
McPhee tops it with six children eating a baby.