One of the best things about blogging is the chance to treat my kids to things I might not normally be able to. To be honest that doesn’t happen that often but on Sunday I was able to take Big L to a preview screening of Paddington 2 at the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square.
We had planned that both Monsieur Incidental and I would have some time on our own with Big L. Monsieur Incidental took him swimming earlier in the week and I had already planned to take him to the cinema before I heard I had got these tickets. It’s hard when you have a baby/toddler and a 6 year old, Big L loves him very much but he doesn’t really get our full attention these days so we thought it would be good for him (and us). He’s an “easy” kid so taking him out is a pleasure rather than a chore.
We got up early Sunday morning and got a train into London. We wandered over to Leicester Square, found the cinema and got our passes. We got the obligatory sweets and popcorn but this wasn’t necessary as when we went into the cinema there were drinks and popcorn on the seats. The cinema itself was lovely (if a bit confusing to navigate) with large, very comfy seats.
There were a lot of families there so I expected there to be quite a bit of noise throughout the film but there really wasn’t. I think that was really due to the fact that the film caught the children’s attention straight away. Big L was certainly captivated from start to finish – it was lovely to watch his little face as the story unfolded.
I don’t want to give too much away but the film is set around the fact that it is Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday and Paddington wants to get her a very special present. He goes to his favourite antiques shop (still run by Mr Gruber played by Jim Broadbent) and sets his heart on getting her a pop up book of London. He sets about trying to make money by doing odd jobs and setting up a window washing business and hilarity ensues. He has almost finished saving up when the book is stolen. Paddington, of course, is framed and ends up in prison.
I don’t think I’m giving too much away by saying that Hugh Grant plays the baddie, and what a fab baddie he is! He plays it very well, too well in fact! Especially when he dresses up as a nun and the same security guard from the original Paddington film that has a penchant for men dressed as ladies takes a liking to him. It’s quite hilarious.
I love films that have an old-fashioned, classically British feel and this really does. London is like that of the past but with the teenagers firmly in the present. It shouldn’t work but it does. Even telephone boxes are used – does no one have a mobile phone? No? Great!
The original cast is back and it’s also packed with famous British actors and comedians, there are a lot of “oh it’s them from such and such” moments and it works really well. It’s charming, funny, and completely engaging. I don’t usually go back to the cinema to watch a film twice but this one I happily would. It would melt even the most stone cold heart and if it doesn’t there is no hope for you. Yes, I don’t mind admitting I had a tear in my eye more than once.
Paddington is possibly one of the most loveable creations, the opening sequence said it all when Paddington leaves the house and all his neighbours say hello to him, Big L turned to me and whispered “everybody knows Paddington”. Mr Brown sums it up well with “Paddington looks for the good in all of us”. It’s nice to see a film where the truly nice, errr, bear wins the day.
Oh and stay for the credits, you’ll regret it if you don’t! Paddington 2 opens nationwide 10th November.
For a little teaser here is the trailer.