This sequel shifts the story of horrendously ugly Nanny McPhee (Thompson) from Edwardian England to a group of kids evacuated from the city to a farm during World War II.
It’s been 100 years since she sorted out a harried Victorian household, and this sequel sees the bewarted baby-sitter back to bring her magical brand of discipline to bear on a family during World War II.
The ensuing madness, orchestrated by director Susanna White (Generation Kill), involves flying pigs, a burping jackdaw and London landmarks coming alive, plus cameos from Ralph Fiennes and Ewan McGregor.
This property clearly means a lot to Emma Thompson, who again has both written the script and played the title character — there’s a genuine warmth here you don’t find in many SFX-laden family films. Our two complaints: the subplot with Rhys Ifans being hunted by two women after one of his organs (not that one) is just weird, while Nanny McPhee herself still lacks the charm of Mary Poppins. That may be intentional, but an extra spoonful of sugar wouldn’t have hurt.
With flying pigs and magical nannying, this will charm children - but it could have been a little more charming for adults.