A joyful family film for young and old alike. 4/5 stars
Winningly voiced by Ben Whishaw, Paddington Bear's first big-screen adventure is a joy; a warm, witty and generous-hearted family film to delight young and old alike.
Perfectly capturing the spirit of Michael Bond's books, the plot sees the marmalade sandwich-loving bear leaving darkest Peru after an earthquake destroys his jungle home. He turns up in London and is taken in by the Brown family, headed by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins, and their housekeeper Mrs Bird (Julie Walters).
He's soon causing all manner of hilarious mayhem, while menace looms in the form of Nicole Kidman's evil taxidermist, who wants to add Paddington to her collection at the Natural History Museum, and nosy neighbour Mr Curry (Peter Capaldi).
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.