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Hugh Grant says Paddington 2 “may be the best film I’ve ever been in”. In the theme of sequels that are better than the original, check out The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.
Paddington 2, currently #51 on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the Top 100 Movies Of All Time, is now streaming on Showmax, at a time when families have never needed time out on the couch with popcorn more.
While you’d be wise to be skeptical of sequels in general, this one is not only widely regarded as being even better than its 2014 predecessor – which has a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed over $282m globally – it’s considered to be better than Michael Bond’s beloved Paddington books, which have sold over 35m copies. Hugh Grant (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill) went so far as to tell Vanity Fair: “I genuinely believe it may be the best film I’ve ever been in.”
The bear’s tale
Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where the adorable bear has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s hundredth birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr Gruber’s antique shop. He embarks upon a series of odd jobs to earn the money to buy it. But when the book is stolen, Paddington is framed for the crime. Now, it’s up to the Browns and some new friends to unmask the real thief and clear the beloved bear’s name.
Golden Globe winner Ben Whishaw (Mary Poppins Returns) voices Paddington; Golden Globe nominee Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) and Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water, The Snail and the Whale) play Mr and Mrs Brown; Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter, Vera Drake) voices Aunt Lucy; Golden Globe nominee Michael Gambon (Dumbledore in Harry Potter) voices Uncle Pastuzo; Hugh Grant is the villain, actor Phoenix Buchanan; and Oscar nominee Dame Julie Walters is Mrs Bird.
The cast also includes Oscar winners Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge) and Peter Capaldi (aka Doctor Who); BAFTA winners Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) and Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd); BAFTA nominees Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal from The Kumars At No. 42; and three-time Golden Globe nominee Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges).
The best movie ever made?
Paddington 2 is the most-reviewed film ever to hold a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes; won 14 international awards; and was nominated for BAFTAs, Annie Awards, and Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Awards.
“Paddington 2 honours its star’s rich legacy with a sweet-natured sequel whose adorable visuals are matched by a story perfectly balanced between heartwarming family fare and purely enjoyable all-ages adventure,” says Rotten Tomatoes.
“Paul King did the unthinkable and made a sequel to his insta-classic yet more charming, inventive and across-the-generations entertaining,” says The Guardian. “It’s humour with the citrus tang of top quality thick-cut marmalade.”
More family movies
Building on the original
Of course, one family movie may not be enough to get you through the extended lockdown, so we also recommend The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, a number one box office hit, 2019 People’s Choice nominee for Favorite Family Movie, and 2020 Kids Choice nominee for Favorite Animated Movie.
It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens of Bricksburg – or should we say, Apocalypseburg? – are facing a huge new threat: misleadingly cute invaders from outer space, who are wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.
The unbelievable all-star cast is once again headed up by Star-Lord himself, Chris Pratt, who voices both Emmet Brickowski and Rex Dangervest, and Elizabeth Banks as Lucy/Wyldstyle. Will Arnett is Batman, Alison Brie is Unikitty, Will Ferrell plays President Business, Richard Ayoade is Ice Cream Cone, and Jonah Hill voices Green Lantern. Tiffany Haddish joins the cast as Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi. Plus, listen out for the voices of Channing Tatum as Superman, Cobie Smulders as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth, and Bruce Willis as… Bruce Willis.
Like Paddington 2, the Guardian says it’s “even better than the original.” If you saw the first one, like almost everyone else in the world, that should be all you need to know.