|Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang|
UK theatrical release poster
August 20, 2010
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (released in the United States and Canada as Nanny McPhee Returns) is a 2010 family film. It is a sequel to the 2005 film Nanny McPhee. It was adapted by Emma Thompson from Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda books. Thompson reprises her role as Nanny McPhee, and the film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, Ewan McGregor, Maggie Smith, Asa Butterfield, Bill Bailey and Katy Brand.
Isabel Green is driven to her wits' end by her hectic life. Between trying to keep the family farm up and running her job in the village shop, aided by the elderly and partly blind Mrs. Docherty, she also has three dutiful, yet boisterous children to look after, Norman, Megsie and Vincent. All of this she has to do while her husband is away at war. So when her children's two haughty and spoiled cousins, Cyril and Celia Gray are sent to live on their farm and another war is being fought between the two sets of children, she is in need of a little magic. She hears a mysterious voice telling her that she needs Nanny McPhee and, to her astonishment, Nanny McPhee appears on her doorstep one stormy night.
Nanny McPhee arrives to take matters into her own hands. At first, the children do not listen and carry on fighting, but she calmly bangs her stick, causing them to start hurting themselves, and Vincent to break things with his cricket bat. Eventually, they apologise, and the two groups learn to tolerate each other. Nanny McPhee then teaches them another lesson, to share, and punishes them, by forcing the older boys to share their bed with a goat, the girls with the family cow, and Vincent with a baby elephant, making them realise sharing with one another wasn't so bad and start acting kinder to one another. For instance, Megsie gives Celia some of her best clothing when the ones she brought are ruined, which had made her resort to wearing their mother's wedding dress. Meanwhile, Isabel's brother-in-law Phil has gambled away the farm and is being chased down by two hit women. He desperately attempts to make Isabel sell her half of the farm, using an array of schemes. These include digging a hole so that the family piglets can escape, but by working together, the children manage to round them up in time.
To celebrate catching the piglets, Mrs. Green takes all the children on a picnic, during which Mr. Docherty, warns them all about bombs and how he imagines a pilot might accidentally release his bomb in the remote area in which the family lives. At the end of the picnic Uncle Phil delivers a telegram saying that Rory Green has been "killed in action" in the war. Isabel believes the telegram, along with everybody else. But Norman does not, and says that he has a feeling "in his bones" that his father is not dead. He tells this to Cyril, who at first says it is just because he is upset, but then agrees to help Norman determine the truth. They realise that Cyril's father, Lord Gray, a high-ranking figure in the War Office can find out for himself what has happened to Rory. So they manage to get Nanny McPhee to take them to London on her motorcycle.
Upon arrival in London, Nanny McPhee uses her status in the army to get the boys access to the War Office, where they meet Lord Grey. At first he scoffs at Norman when he tells him about his disbelief of his father's death, but after Cyril angrily informs his father that he knows that his parents are getting a divorce, he gives in and goes to check on Rory's status. While he is gone, Cyril tells Norman that he and Celia have been sent away because their parents will be splitting up, and not because of the bombs, and he is unsure where he and Celia will have to live. Norman tells Cyril that he and Celia are welcome to live on the farm with the Greens, to his delight. Lord Grey returns and informs them that Rory is not listed as killed in action, as the telegram had stated, but rather missing in action, and that there is no record of a telegram ever having been sent to Isabel.
The boys then leave and Norman works out that the telegram brought to his mother by Uncle Phil was in fact a fraud to get Isabel to sell the farm. While the boys are at the War Office, Megsie, Celia and Vincent are trying to stop Isabel from signing the papers and selling the farm. When their own efforts fail, Megsie calls to Nanny McPhee for help, who hears her plea and summons a baby Elephant to stall for time. Just as Isabel is about to sign the papers, an enemy plane flies overhead. The pilot sneezes twice, and on the third sneeze, a huge bomb is dropped, but does not explode and is sticking out of the barley field. When Nanny McPhee returns with Norman and Cyril, thanks to the Nanny's magic, the children go out to watch Mr. Docherty dismantle the bomb, but he falls from the ladder and faints, and Megsie takes over. She succeeds with the help of the other children and Nanny McPhee's putty eating bird, Mr. Edelweiss. Nanny McPhee then helps to harvest the barley and saves Phil from the hit women, with a little magic, and she and Mrs. Docherty watch the family celebrate.
During their conversation, Mrs. Docherty says to Mr. Docherty that Nanny McPhee hates goodbyes and that she remembers from when she was young. She then takes out a rattle, revealing that she is baby Aggie from the first film. As Nanny McPhee walks away from the now happy family, true to her statement "When you need me, but do not want me, I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, then I have to go", the children and Isabel chase after her, determined to prove they still need her. However, they discover that they in fact do not, as they round a bend to see that their father is descending from the hill, passing Nanny McPhee along the way. Rory Green (Ewan McGregor), in army uniform and with an injured arm, runs to the arms of his children and wife and rejoices in the discovery that after leaving three children to go to war, he has returned to find five. As Nanny McPhee watches the reunion, now a beautiful woman, she forgives Mr. Edelweiss and allows him to perch on her shoulder as they leave into the distance.
Nanny McPhee's five lessonsEdit
In addition to emphasising discipline, manners and accepting the consequences of one's actions, Nanny McPhee has five very important base lessons to teach – each of which correspond to her various unattractive physical attributes: grey hair, two large moles, a unibrow, and a snaggle-tooth protruding over her bottom lip, all of which give her the appearance of a stereotypical witch. Nanny is as ugly as the children are naughty, so whenever a lesson is learned, one of her disfigurements vanishes. When all five lessons are learned, Nanny McPhee transforms from ugly to beautiful woman.
- Lesson #1: To stop fighting – Upper wart disappears
- Lesson #2: To share – Lower wart disappears
- Lesson #3: To work together – Unibrow disappears
- Lesson #4: To be brave – Hair changes from grey to brown
- Lesson #5: To have faith – Snaggle tooth disappears and is now a beautiful woman.
Nanny McPhee's medalsEdit
- Courage - later awarded to Cyril
- Kindness - later awarded to Celia
- Resolve - later awarded to Megsie
- Imagination - later awarded to Norman
- Enthusiasm - later awarded to Vincent
- Basket - work
- Leaps of Faith - later awarded to Isabel
- Emma Thompson as Nanny McPhee
- Rhys Ifans as Phil Green
- Maggie Gyllenhaal as Isabel Green (née Carrington)
- Asa Butterfield as Norman Green
- Lil Woods as Megsie Green
- Oscar Steer as Vincent Green
- Ewan McGregor as Rory Green
- Eros Vlahos as Cyril Gray
- Rosie Taylor-Ritson as Celia Gray
- Ralph Fiennes as Lord Gray
- Maggie Smith as Agatha "Aggie" Docherty (née Brown)
- Sam Kelly as Mr. Docherty
- Sinead Matthews as Miss Topsey
- Katy Brand as Miss Turvey
- Bill Bailey as Farmer MacReadie
- Nonso Anozie as Sergeant Ralph Jeffreys
- Daniel Mays as Blenkinsop
- Ed Stoppard as Lieutenant Addis
- Toby Sedgwick as an enemy plane pilot