Nanny McPhee

  • Directors: Kirk Jones
  • Producers: Lindsay Doran, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
  • Writers: Screenplay, Emma Thompson, Books, Christianna Brand
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Imelda Staunton, Kelly Macdonald, Thomas Sangster, Eliza Bennett, Jennifer Rae Daykin, Holly Gibbs

Taking place in 19th century England, widower and undertaker 41-year-old Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) has seven children: 12-year-old Simon (Thomas Sangster), 10-year-old Tora (Eliza Bennett), 9-year-old Lily (Jennifer Rae Daykin), 8-year-old Eric (Raphaël Coleman), 7-year-old Sebastian (Samuel Honywood ), 5-year-old Christianna (Holly Gibbs) and 1-year-old Aggie (Hebe Barnes and Zinnia Barnes). He loves his children very much, but spends little time with them, unable to handle raising them all on his own. The children have had a series of seventeen nannies, whom they systematically drive out; it is a point of pride for them to get rid of each nanny as fast as possible. They also terrorize the cook, Mrs. Blatherwick (Imelda Staunton) but are cared for and loved by Evangeline (Kelly Macdonald), the young scullery maid.

Cedric attempts to hire another nanny from the agency that sent the past seventeen nannies, but the agency refuses him, as the children have sent the past nannies away, terrorized. Desperate to find another nanny, Cedric heeds the advice of a mysterious voice from the house, which says, “the person you need is Nanny McPhee.” After a series of mysterious events, an unusual and hideous woman named Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives at Brown home, introducing herself as a “government nanny”. With discipline and magic, she transforms the family’s lives. In the process, she herself transforms from ugly to beautiful. The children, led by Simon, attempt to play their tricks on her, but gradually start to respect her and ask her for advice. They change into responsible people, helping their hapless father in solving the family problems, and making Nanny McPhee less and less needed. (The storyline is, at this point, very similar to Mary Poppins).

Interestingly, not all of the lessons are for the children. In addition, the last one can vary depending on interpretation.

Inkheart

  • Directors: Iain Softley
  • Producers: Cornelia Funke, Ileen Maisel, Dylan Cuva
  • Writers: David Lindsay Abaire, Cornelia Funke, Gary David Goldberg
  • Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Brendan Fraser, Eliza Bennett, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis, Jim Broadbent

Mortimer “Mo” Folchart (Brendan Fraser) and his 12-year-old daughter, Meggie (Eliza Bennett), share a passion for books. What they also share is an extraordinary gift for bringing characters from books to life when they read aloud. But there is a danger: when a character is brought to life from a book, a real person disappears into its pages.

On one of their trips to a secondhand book shop, Mo hears voices he hasn’t heard for years, and when he locates the book they’re coming from, it sends a shiver up his spine. It’s Inkheart, a book filled with illustrations of medieval castles and strange creatures–a book he’s been searching for since Meggie was three years old, when her mother, Resa (Sienna Guillory), vanished into its mystical world.

But Mo’s plan to use the book to find and rescue Resa is thwarted when Capricorn (Andy Serkis), the evil villain of Inkheart, kidnaps Meggie and, discovering she has inherited her father’s gift, demands that she bring his most powerful ally to life–the Shadow. Determined to rescue his daughter and send the fictional characters back where they belong, Mo assembles a small group of friends and family–some from the real world, some from the pages of books–and embarks on a daring and perilous journey to set things right.