Nanny McPhee was filmed in London; thus the English accents of all of the characters. In England, it is called Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang. It was a box office hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
Emma Thompson wields her own magic as she reprises her role as Nanny McPhee. Nanny is quick to say “I am Nanny McPhee. Small c, big P.” This time around, she learns that the Green family is in dire need of some help. Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is trying to cope with raising her three children while her husband (Ewan McGregor) is off to war. To make matters worse, the children’s two cousins from the city are coming to visit for an extended stay.
The Greens have fallen on hard financial times as they try to work their farm into a prosperous enterprise. By selling pigs each year, they are able to pay off the mortgage on the tractor that is a vital part of their venture. The children, of course, are a handful to Isabel who is thankful when Nanny McPhee shows up at her door to help.
Naturally, the five cousins do not get along, so Nanny McPhee has her work cut out for her. However, she has her magic walking stick which makes things easier for her. Nanny also has five lessons which she plans to instill in the children. As we know from the prequel, Nanny McPhee, with each success Nanny has with a lesson, one of her disfiguring blemishes disappears. The lessons and the results are:
To stop fighting – her gray hair turns brown.
To do as they are told – a wart on her upper lip disappears.
To help each other – a wart on her chin disappears.
To listen – her unibrow disappears and her earlobes shrink.
To have faith – her snaggle tooth disappears and her nose becomes smaller.
Another hurdle that must be met is Uncle Phil Green who owns half of the farm that the Green family lives on. Because of his gambling debts, he wants to sell the farm. Of course, he needs Isabel’s signature to do this. Isabel refuses as it is their home and they have nowhere else to go.
Uncle Phil sends a fake telegram from the War Office stating that Isabel’s husband has been killed in action. The children do not believe this and enlist Nanny McPhee’s help to find out the truth. A motorcycle ride to London proves successful when we find that Mr. Green is missing in action, not killed.
Nanny McPhee’s watchword has always been “If you need me but do not want me, I will stay. If you want me but do not need me, I will go.”
Isabel and the children beg her to stay, pleading with her that they need her. Isabel changes her mind when she and the children spy their father coming down the road to the farm with his arm in a sling, back from the war. Our last vision of Nanny McPhee is that of a beautiful woman when all of her lessons have been learned and her disfiguring blemishes have disappeared.
Rumor has it that there is another story on the horizon about Nanny McPhee. We look forward to seeing such a beloved character again.
Movie – Nanny McPhee Returns (2010)