“Paddington” the movie is just unbearably good. With swipes at anti-immigration politics, nods to language learning and lashings of marmalade, it’s aimed at children but adults will leave entertained and happy.
Keeping many of the characters and settings from the much-loved Michael Bond books, purists may frown at some of the liberties taken here. For me, these changes bring the story a fresh and modern feel.
There’s an enormous heart and warmth in this tale. You start out in Peru, although these scenes were filmed in Costa Rica. The Notting Hill settings are delightful and Paddington Station looks clean and gorgeous and very unlike its usual grubby reality.
Action builds up to a marvellous and utterly satisfactory encounter in the Natural History Museum. You even get homage to Hitchcock.
All the actors, especially Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and Nicole Kidman are terrific.
Peter Capaldi and Jim Broadbent have lovely moments, too.
But the star is Paddington and the bear has been given a makeover that is great to look at and sounds good too, thanks to Ben Whishaw’s talent.
Everyone at the Stratford East Picturehouse was oohing and aahing and we were all smiling afterwards.
Truly, it’s the most fun I’ve had watching a movie this year. I loved every minute of it and you will too.