Sometimes when you go to the theater to see a movie, you have a very good idea of what the basic plot will be and how the cinematography will feel. You can also know with a high degree of assurance how everything will turn out in the end. Certainly for a movie geared towards the younger generation, you can know that all of the loose ends will be neatly tied off and the heroes will live happily ever after. Sometimes, though, that is just fine and makes the pudding all the more tasty. Such is the case for the Nanny McPhee sequel, Nanny McPhee Returns.
If you saw the first Nanny McPhee movie, you know the basic premise. A strange, disquieting nanny, who is quite repulsive in appearance, shows up to teach some important life lessons to a brood of rowdy, ill-mannered, surly, and rambunctious children. As the children learn the lessons that Nanny McPhee must teach them, she evolves into a beautiful woman, both externally and in the eyes of her charges, in effect mirroring their changes. When she is finished, she moves on to her next job. "When you need me but do not want me, then I will stay. When you want me but do not need me, then I have to go."
In her latest adventure, Nanny McPhee arrives to help a struggling, harrowed mother during World War II whose husband is a soldier in the English army and is off doing his duty. This mother is not only dealing with her own three children, but two more cousins arrive to stay with them to avoid the German's bombing campaign in London. Nanny McPhee arrives to teach the children what they must learn and then must go, and all the heroes make out in the end. Along the way we are taught some important lessons in pulling together and true faith. We also find out a bit more about the mysterious nanny and the many children she has helped shape along their journey.
Emma Thompson wrote and produced this wonderful story that left me crying many happy tears. I loved the first movie and the sequel equally as much. I guess that I am just a sucker for a happy ending.