Heaps of heart and hu­mour as beloved bear in duffel coat fi­nally makes the big screen

Bray People - - ENTERTAINMENT -

PADDING­TON (PG) MORE than 50 years after he first ap­peared in print, au­thor Michael Bond’s beloved bear Padding­ton has fi­nally ar­rived on the big screen in his first starpacked fam­ily ad­ven­ture.

Up­com­ing di­rec­tor Paul King’s film lov­ingly weaves the tra­di­tional tenets of the duffel-coat wear­ing bear’s story into a mod­ern nar­ra­tive.

Like the books, the film starts in deep­est, dark­est Peru, where a well-man­nered three-foot bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) lives with his el­derly Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) and Un­cle Pas­tuzo (Michael Gam­bon).

In their youth, Lucy and Pas­tuzo were vis­ited by a kindly English ex­plorer who left his red hat with his furry friends.

When their home is threat­ened, Aunt Lucy packs her nephew off to the safety of London to track down the ex­plorer, who has promised that there will al­ways be a home for them in the cap­i­tal.

Of course, after sail­ing the oceans in a boat filled with sup­plies of his trea­sured mar­malade, the bear finds London isn’t ac­tu­ally that friendly.

In fact it’s pretty mis­er­able what with the driz­zly weather and glum com­mut- ers push­ing and shov­ing their way out of Padding­ton sta­tion and ig­nor­ing his pleas for a home.

“Sorry, we haven’t got time for this,” cries wor­ry­wart Mr Brown (Hugh Bon­neville), while his moody daugh­ter Judy (Madeleine Har­ris) ex­claims she’s “em­bar­rassed” to be near the small grisly, who has a ‘Please look after this bear’ sign around his neck.

Luck­ily, warm-hearted Mrs Brown (Sally Hawkins) and son Jonathan (Sa­muel Joslin) vow to take the furry chap home for the night.

Nam­ing him Padding­ton after the sta­tion where they found him, the Browns in­tro­duce their guest to kindly house­keeper Mrs Bird (Julie Wal­ters).

But dis­as­ter soon strikes when Padding­ton tries to freshen up in the bath­room, re­sult­ing in a flood, two ear­wax-stained tooth­brushes and a sharp telling off.

De­ter­mined to find the ex­plorer, Mrs Brown takes Padding­ton to see her friend Mr Gru­ber (Jim Broad­bent), an an­tiques dealer who might have clues to his ex­is­tence, but, in do­ing so, they at­tract the at­ten­tion of cranky cur­tain twitcher Mr Curry (Peter Capldi) and a slimy as­so­ciate of vil­lain­ous taxi­der­mist Mil­li­cent (Ni­cole Kid­man) who is hell-bent on “stuff­ing that bear”.

With Mil­li­cent de­ter­mined to get her mitts on Padding­ton to dis­play him in the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum, the Browns find them­selves on a humdinger of a cat and mouse chase to try and keep their furry friend safe.

As com­fort­ing and sweet as Padding­ton’s beloved mar­malade, King’s de­light­ful adap­ta­tion has heaps of heart and enough hu­mour and care­fully plot­ted cameos to en­sure ev­ery­one more than grins and bears his adap­ta­tion.

Di­reC­tor Paul King’s film lov­ingly weaves the tra­di­tional tenets of Padding­ton Bear’s story into a mod­ern nar­ra­tive.

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