Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang

  • Directors: Susanna White
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lindsay Doran
  • Writers: Emma Thompson, Christianna Brand
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, and Maggie Smith

In England during the Second World War, teenager Norman (Asa Butterfield), a younger boy and a girl live at a farm with their mother, while the father is away as a soldier. Two spoiled cousins, a boy and a girl, are evacuated from the city and join them. At first the two groups quarrel.

Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives, telling the mother that she has been assigned to this family, and that the mother does not have to pay her a dime. With discipline and magic, she transforms the family’s lives. In the process, she herself transforms from ugly to beautiful, just like in the first film.

The farm is owned half by the mother, half by her mean brother-in-law. The brother wants to buy the mother’s share, and uses mean tricks to force her to do so. First he releases her pigs, which would be a serious financial loss, but Nanny McPhee and the children find and return them. Then he gives them a forged Killed in action notice regarding the father. Norman feels in his bones that his father is still alive, and after going to London with Nanny McPhee and one of the cousins it turns out that the father is “only” missing in action. Meanwhile the other children manage to delay the mother signing the contract.

The father returns safely. Nanny McPhee leaves, as she is no longer needed.

Greenberg

  • Directors: Noah Baumbach
  • Producers: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Rudin, Lila Yacoub
  • Writers: Noah Baumbach, Jennifer Jason Leigh
  • Genres: Drama, Comedy
  • Actors: Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Chris Messina, Brie Larson, Juno Temple

Greenberg (Ben Stiller) is at a crossroads in his life. Out of a job and none too interested in finding one, he agrees to housesit for his younger and more successful brother, thereby getting a free place to stay in Los Angeles. Once settled in, Greenberg sets out to reconnect with his old friend and former bandmate Ivan (Rhys Ifans). But times have changed, and old friends aren’t necessarily still best friends, so Greenberg finds himself spending more and more time instead with his brother’s personal assistant Florence (Greta Gerwig), an aspiring singer and herself something of a lost soul. As their relationship develops through a series of embarrassingly awkward romantic encounters, even someone as irascible as Greenberg might have at last found a reason to be happy.[1]

The Boat That Rocked

  • Directors: Richard Curtis
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Hilary Bevan Jones
  • Writers: Richard Curtis
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance
  • Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh

Carl (Tom Sturridge) arrives on the pirate radio ship, Radio Rock, after being sent to stay with the ship’s Captain, his godfather, Quentin (Bill Nighy), to hopefully set his life on a different track after being expelled from school. Here he meets Radio Rock’s crew of ramshackle disc jockeys, led by The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a buoyant rock-loving American, along with the suave and bawdy Dave (Nick Frost) and the naive but good hearted Simon (Chris O’Dowd). Also filling the airwaves is self proclaimed New Zealand “nut,” Angus (Rhys Darby), the mysterious Midnight Mark (Tom Wisdom) and the even more mysterious, reclusive and downright disillusioned late-night DJ Smooth Bob (Ralph Brown). Serving as the ship’s crew are the shy lesbian cook Felicity (Katherine Parkinson) and radio assistants, Harold (Ike Hamilton) and the appropriately nicknamed Thick Kevin (Tom Brooke).

Dave wastes no time in introducing Carl to women, only for both of Carl’s attempts to be foiled by Dave himself, including Carl’s first crush, Quentin’s niece, Marianne (Talulah Riley), although, by the end of the film, Carl and Marianne make up and get together. Simon also is unlucky in love, meeting and marrying the too-good-to-be-true Elenore (January Jones) only to find her affections are really placed with the returning “king of the airwaves”, Gavin (Rhys Ifans). The Count objects to Gavin’s antics with Elenore, leading to a clash of egos that ends in a truce after both suffer physical injuries jumping from the top of the ship’s radio mast in a contest of courage.

The film concludes with captions stating that, despite the end of “the golden age of pirate radio”, the dream lives on, with 299 music radio stations across the UK playing rock and pop music 24 hours a day, and that, forty years on, rock and roll is still going strong, ending with a montage of successful music albums covering the entire forty year period.

Notting Hill

  • Directors: Roger Michell
  • Producers: Duncan Kenworthy
  • Writers: Richard Curtis
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville, Emma Chambers, James Dreyfus, Rhys Ifans, Tim McInnerny, Gina McKee

William Thacker (Hugh Grant) is the owner of an independent bookstore in Notting Hill that specializes in travel writing. Witty and handsome, he has not been coping well with his divorce (his wife left him “for a man who looks exactly like Harrison Ford”) and is currently sharing his house with an eccentric Welsh wannabe artist named Spike (Rhys Ifans). One day, Thacker encounters world-famous Hollywood actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) during her trip to London, when she enters his shop to purchase a book. Shortly thereafter, the pair accidentally collide in the street, causing William to spill his orange juice on the both of them. He offers his house, which is just across the road, as a place for Anna to get changed. She accepts and they retire to his abode. Having changed, Anna surprises William with a kiss and plants the seeds for their mutual attraction.

Days later, William asks Spike if he has any messages. Spike has trouble writing down or remembering any messages left for Will, but does recall “Some American girl called Anna” calling a few days previous. Anna is staying at the Ritz, under a pseudonym, and asks William to come and visit her. When he arrives, Anna’s room has become the centre for a press day and as a result, William is mistaken for a member of the press. In a moment of panic he claims he works for Horse & Hound magazine. He has to interview every single cast member of Anna’s new film Helix, even though he has not seen the film himself. William does get to talk to Anna, and invites her to his sister Honey’s birthday party.

One year later, Anna returns to England to make a Henry James film, which William had suggested she do. William approaches the set of the film, and Anna invites him in to watch. He listens to the sound recording whilst Anna is between filming scenes and overhears her telling her co-star that William is “just some guy”. Disappointed, William leaves. The next day, Anna comes to the bookshop once again, hoping to resume their love affair, but William turns her down. Before she leaves, Anna says the famous line: “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”; but William stays firm to his decision. Afterwards, William consults his friends on his decision, leading him to realize that he has just made the biggest mistake of his life. He and his friends search for Anna, racing across London in Max’s car. They reach Anna’s press conference before she leaves for the United States, and William successfully persuades her to stay in England with him. Anna and William get married, with the film concluding with a shot of William and a pregnant Anna sitting on a park bench in Notting Hill.