Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Paddington": A Little Bear Tumbles Into the Uncanny Valley, Ends Up in London 

Wednesday, Jan 14 2015

Paul King's Paddington is a very British movie, and that's mostly good, though it briefly succumbs to the sort of lazy humor that derailed the equally Anglo Boxtrolls. Paddington (Ben Whishaw) is a young bear in "darkest" Peru who, thanks to a British geographer discovering his sentient family decades prior, speaks the Queen's English and is obsessed with orange marmalade. When their jungle home is destroyed, Paddington's aunt (Imelda Staunton) sends him to London, where he's taken in by open-hearted Mrs. Brown (the great Sally Hawkins), her fearful husband (Hugh Bonneville), and their nondescript children, unaware that an evil taxidermist (Nicole Kidman) intends to capture and stuff Paddington. The mostly pleasant Paddington functions as a metaphor for the immigrant experience; Londoners don't react to this talking bear with "How can that be?" but instead regard him as another foreigner to be ignored. And then there's the scene in which Bonneville dresses as a maid to infiltrate an archives, which, ugh. It actually has a mild plot function, and it's not quite as blatantly transphobic as the hateful "Miss Frou Frou" subplot in The Boxtrolls, but seriously, British family filmmakers? Stop doing that. And if you simply have to go there (PROTIP: You don't), leave out the prison-rape jokes.


About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"