Utterly delightful: Review, Cast, Story and Director

Paddington may wind up behind bars, but this craftily plotted movie is liberated from that point onward.

To their credit, VFX team has increased their abilities in order to make the film bigger and more dream like in terms of the world generated. Surely it would be impossible for co-writer/director Paul King to pull that off again?

The prospects for "Paddington 2" were grim at the outset.

Aimed at children, Paddington 2, the delightful live action-toon sequel to 2015's widescreen adaptation of Michael Bond's classic books about a bear, has a wonderful star cast, ample comedy and inspirational themes which we, adults can also benefit from: such as kindness and compassion (whose wellspring is a kind and loving heart).

Earlier in the day Hugh went to New York Live to talk about the film, and was candid and witty as he spoke about his character Mr Brown: 'Well [he] gets passed over for promotion and he feels like his world is falling apart, he's getting fat, he's starting to creak, his hair is going grey. When he finds an elaborate London-themed pop-up book in an antique store run by Brown family friend Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent), Paddington realizes he's found the ideal gift, but since the book is well out of the bear's modest price range, he decides to get a job and start saving. He's also got a part time job of cleaning windows because his fur mixed with soap is a natural mop. Then something terrible happens. One night Paddington notices a unusual man breaking into the antique store that houses the coveted pop-up book, attempts to stop it and wrongly ends up in prison. Let us know what you think. His Phoenix Buchanan, an actor whose career has hit a rough patch, is a self-professed master of disguise who switches identities in the blink of an eye.

It goes without saying that the plot is completely silly. Brown, director Paul King and writer Simon Farnaby. King essentially turns London into a whimsical playground, a place where every street corner is an opportunity for some sort of magical goof-off involving an obscenely lovable little bear. But of course, Paddington always manages to find a way to make new friends.

The father, Henry (Hugh Bonneville), is an insurance risk analyst in a midlife funk, while mother Mary (Sally Hawkins) is a children's-book illustrator seeking her own adventure.

A wild adventure lands our hero in prison (Brendan Gleeson is a hoot as a hardened cook whom Paddington befriends), but the penitentiary walls are no match for Paddington's charms. Hawkins, a possible Oscar contender for "The Shape of Water", and Bonneville, Lord Grantham of "Downton Abbey", anchor the series with Julie Walters, Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi in key roles. Of all the actors, Hugh Grant steals the show.

The actors are having a ball. However, his comic sensibilities, which always lean towards sarcasm (arguably, Grant's best performance is as the acidic lead in the 2002 dramedy About a Boy), fit in squarely with Paddington 2's sly tone. In a movie filled with minor movie miracles, proving the depth of Hugh Grant just might be the biggest. You don't feel beaten up by the filmmakers' attempts to engage a variety of audience quadrants; Paddington 2 is a lover, not a fighter... There's no better time for a movie so dedicated to that simple and handsome theme, and few that can express it so well.

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