PADDINGTON 2 — Review by Susan Granger

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Set a few years after Paddington sprang onto the silver screen, the red-hatted, blue-raincoated, marmalade-scarfing bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) has settled into a new life in London’s Windsor Gardens with his adoptive parents, the Browns (Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins). Continue reading…

Since his beloved Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton), an Anglophile who still lives in Darkest Peru, is celebrating her 100th birthday, Paddington has decided to send her an expensive book of famous London landmarks, described as a “popping book” by Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent), the antiques dealer.

But before Paddington can earn enough money, the rare book is stolen by prissy Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant), an aging actor who has been reduced to doing dog food commercials.

What dastardly devious Phoenix knows that Paddington doesn’t is that the seemingly innocuous pop-up book is really a secret treasure map, so he frames Paddington for the theft.

Dispatched to prison, Paddington finds himself living with intimidating inmates like the snarling chef, Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson) – or “Nuckel’s” as it’s misspelled on his tattooed fists – whom Paddington wins over with – what else? – marmalade!

Meanwhile, the émigré bear’s friends and family (Julie Walters, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin) work diligently for his release, much to the dismay of Mr. Curry (Peter Capaldi), the neighborhood’s odious Britain-firster.
Continuing his witty live-action adaptation of Michael Bond’s series of whimsical children’s books, writer/director Paul King, teaming with co-writer Simon Farnaby, carry on the elaborately endearing slapstick silliness, replete with imaginative interludes and inventive, colorful sets.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Paddington 2” is an adorable, thoroughly enjoyable 8, reinforcing the sublime belief: “If you’re kind and polite, the world will be right.”

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.