“I don’t do nothing for nobody for nothing.”
This is the most charmed I’ve been by a movie since Hugo way back in 2011. Paddington 2 shares a distinct love of wonder and sheer entertainment with Hugo, as well as the visual craft that goes into every marmalade slathered frame. It also shares a nearly idyllic version of its splendorous setting, where it feels like the worst thing happening in the world is quite possibly a dissociative Hugh Grant stealing a pop-up book. Prison is an amazing place in a Wes Andersen sort of way, criminals are lovable and merely gruff or roguish, and most everyone has the capacity for self-awareness and change. I want to live in this world.
My VHS cover pull quote: “One of the most substantial and timely things this movie does is keep the Peruvian bear intact as a stand-in for immigration by way of Peter Capaldi’s Mr. Creary and his unfounded fear of the adorable Paddington. Dynamite!”