Dir: Paul King
Starring: Ben Whishaw (voice), Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins,
Peter Capaldi, Nicole Kidman, Samuel Joslin, Madeleine Harris,
Adapted from Michael Bond’s books about the marmalade-loving bear from “darkest Peru” (over 20 of them have been published since 1958) who makes his way to London, Paddington turns out to be surprisingly charming.
It is just whimsical enough to keep the adults interested (while serving as a mild metaphor for bigotry and immigration) and zesty enough (there are a couple of uproarious scenes in which our ursine hero creates mayhem) to keep the young ‘uns from squirming in their seats.
The characters are quite amiable, none more so than the CGI-animated titular character (nicely voiced by Ben Whishaw).
Sally Hawkins is quirky fun as the matriarch of the Brown family that takes Paddington in (and gives him his name) and Nicole Kidman has a whale of a time in full Cruella De Vil mode (she looks pretty good too and less botoxed than in the recent past.) T
he production design, evoking a kind of a vintage London, also helps in providing a timeless feel to the movie, which works in the context of the film.
Cut to chase: Charming and cute.