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Paddington (2014)


Ben Whishaw voices the CGI Paddington bear from deepest darkest Peru in this live reboot of a 1970s television show. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins play adoptive parents while Nicole Kidman takes the role of villain. The film has a Mr. Rogers quality with the eternally optimistic Paddington only sending kindness into the world.

Paddington’s biggest significance is that its sequel was, and may still be, the highest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes. The original is not. The plot line follows many stories we have already seen. The rising and falling action are predictable and the film comes in for a smooth landing. It is a fish out of water story, but also a kidnapping caper and a struggle for acceptance.

All the acting is fine and the CGI’d bears fit in very naturally. A few visual gags do generate chuckles and the film should leave you happy. I wish there were a shorter version of the film though, 1:35 is short. A cliff notes version of the film would be a good introduction to the far superior sequel.

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