Best Movies of 2018 - Paddington 2

As another great year of movies comes to a close, JoBlo.com staff will be curating our selection of the best films of 2018. Whether it be animation or live action, comedy or drama, horror or action (or maybe even a romance!), these are the movies that struck our staff more than any other. So enjoy our picks and let us know what your favorites were in the comments below.

comedy, Family, Paul King, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, julie walters, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Paddington 2, 2018, Best Movies of the Year, Best Movies of 2018

Released on January 12, 2018

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? After settling in with the Brown family in London, Paddington Bear tries to raise enough money to buy his Aunt Lucy a pop-up book for her birthday. But, when Paddington is mistaken for a thief and sent to prison, it is up to the Browns to unmask the true criminal and save their friend.

WHO'S IN IT? Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey),Sally Hawkins (THE SHAPE OF WATER), Brendan Gleeson (HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE), Julie Walters (HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCEROR'S STONE), Jim Broadbent (Game of Thrones), Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who), and Hugh Grant (FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS). Also featuring the voice of Ben Whishaw (SKYFALL) as Paddington.

WHO MADE IT? Directed by Paul King (PADDINGTON) from a script he co-wrote with Simon Farnaby. Produced by David Heyman (HARRY POTTER franchise). Based on the books by Michael Bond.

WHY IT'S ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF 2018? Any time you have a movie with over 200 positive reviews resulting in a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you need to take notice. It is hard enough to create a top ten list each year, but a lot of films often get short shrift compared to big budget dramas and epic action films. If I excluded all animated and family films from my ranking, it may be a little easier, but I would be doing a disservice to amazing movies like PADDINGTON 2. Many of you likely dismissed it as a kid's movie that would be no better than the shitty ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS or SMURFS film. To be totally honest, going into the first PADDINGTON movie I felt the same way. But, Paul King and David Heyman collaborated on a movie that ended up being more along the lines of a Wes Anderson film than a shitty cookie cutter kid's flick. So, when the sequel was announced, I expected it to be a fun flick but probably not as good as the first. Somehow, PADDINGTON 2 is even better than it's predecessor.

PADDINGTON 2 is just a wonderfully, happy movie. Yes, it is a silly concept that obviously is aimed at children, but writers Paul King and Simon Farnaby have crafted a movie that does not aim at any particular audience and instead is just designed to be appealing to everyone. The jokes and humor here all come from a good-natured place but are crafted in such a way that PADDINGTON 2 is a film out of time. Technically proficient in that Paddington himself looks and feels like he actually exists in the scene, the movie has an ageless quality like the work of the aforementioned Wes Anderson. It is both modern and somehow very old-fashioned at the same time. It is an achievement in itself that the filmmakers managed to make a children's movie about a character being convicted of a felony and sent to prison where he has to endure the threat of physical violence and it actually ends up being charming.

comedy, Family, Paul King, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, julie walters, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Paddington 2, 2018, Best Movies of the Year, Best Movies of 2018

PADDINGTON 2 is also great because it works as an ensemble picture with returning actors like Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins getting to explore their characters a little further than in the first movie. All the members of the Brown family are dealing with personal crises which are solved over the course of their adventure to free their bear friend from incarceration. Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin both play key roles as the Brown children, but there is plenty of room for the vast cast of familiar British faces to chew scenery. From Julie Walters as the scene-stealing Mrs. Bird to tha always enjoyable Jim Broadbent, this cast is recognizable enough to rival the star-studded Muppet movies. Peter Capaldi, Joanna Lumley, Noah Taylor, Richard Ayoade and the voices of Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon will surely have the adult viewers as entertained as the kids watching the cute animated bear get into mischief.

From a filmmaking perspective, PADDINGTON 2 works in every conceivable way. The special effects are seamless and realistic with rarely any moments that take you out of the story to question what is real and what is computer-generated. Everything about PADDINGTON 2 looks and feels tangible. I expected a major amount of suspension of disbelief for this movie to work, but it just works. The humor is never groan-worthy and you actually find yourself rooting along with the heroes and hissing at the bad guy in this very old-fashioned treat. The best part is that while it does feel like it is from a different era, at the same time it feels fresh and contemporary. Whether you have kids or not, you will find yourself smiling and thinking back fondly about this movie and wonder when the next one will come out. PADDINGTON 2, like the TOY STORY films, is basically a perfect movie.

"They are short stories but there is so much in them and so much depth of character. But then when you come back to it and ask what is the narrative arc and what is he thinking and sort of digging into it a bit more; there is so much detail in the Michael Bonn stories. And the character is all there and you just kind of have to hunt for it and find the longer narrative that can sustain these moments." - Director Paul King

BEST SCENE: I am partial to the closing musical number because of just how random it is, but the scene that captures what makes PADDINGTON 2 so good is the barbershop sequence. Both films have physical comedy that harkens back to the days of The Three Stooges and Buster Keaton and the series of events that unfolds when Paddington is mistaken for a barber are downright hilarious. Sure, you probably can tell where the scene is going to go, but it is done with such impeccable timing and deadpan reactions that it ends up being one of the best executed comedy scenes in years. Watch the first portion of the scene below.


Warden Walker: "Paddington Brown. Ten years, for grand theft and grievous barberly harm."

Knuckles McGinty: "I don't do nothin' for no one for nothin'. "

Barry the Security Guard: "Attention all units: An unusually attractive nun is causing mayhem in the cathedral dome. Activate emergency protocol. Stop that stunning sister!"

Henry Brown: "No, of course you don't. YOU never have! As soon as you set eyes on that bear you made up your mind about him. Well Paddington's not like that. He looks for the good in all of us and somehow, he finds it! It's why he makes friends wherever he goes. And it's why Windsor Gardens is a happier place whenever he's around. He wouldn't hesitate if any of us needed help! So stand aside, Mr Curry. 'Cause we're coming through."

NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCE(S): While the entire cast is good, especially Sally Hawkins, the showcase role in this franchise has always gone to the villain. While Nicole Kidman gave a more subtle turn in the first film, Hugh Grant goes absolutely all out playing Phoenix Buchanan. A stage actor fallen into obscurity and doing dog food commercials to make ends meet, Grant makes his character an over-the-top antagonist who dresses up in all sorts of kooky outfits to try and complete his dastardly scheme. Channeling the late great Peter Sellers, Hugh Grant delivers his most uncharacteristic role since CLOUD ATLAS (in which he appeared with Paddington himself, Ben Whishaw). Grant has found new vitality in this part of his career and shows he will go beyond the limit to make the role memorable. Plus, there is that closing musical number that is just bonkers.

The other great role goes to Brendan Gleeson. Already familiar with CGI-heavy films from his tenure as Mad Eye Moody in the HARRY POTTER movies, Gleeson does not sacrifice any of his acting talent and plays inmate chef Knuckles McGinty as he would in a less family friendly movie. Going from a hard-edged prisoner to showing his soft heart, Gleeson makes Knuckles a nice compatriot to Paddington. While the already announced third film is unlikely to see Gleeson return, this shows that the PADDINGTON films are perfect playgrounds for talented actors, regardless of genre, to come and play in a whimsical world of comedy.

comedy, Family, Paul King, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, julie walters, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Paddington 2, 2018, Best Movies of the Year, Best Movies of 2018

“It’s a little tricky. They give you a choice when you have a scene with Paddington. You can either have an actress who’s there on set all day long, who’s the right height for Paddington and very nice. Or you can have a stick with a bear’s head on it and I couldn’t deal with that. It was like a warning to bears: ‘Don’t come back in this area or you’ll be beheaded.’ Or you could just have a stick and in the end, I found it easiest just to work with a stick. I became rather fond of the stick in the end.” - Hugh Grant

AWARDS WORTHY? Not quite animation and not quite the type of film that garners trophies, PADDINGTON 2 has still managed to make it onto virtually every Top Ten list around the globe. It won Best British Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Hugh Grant at the London Film Critics' Circle Awards, the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy and Technical Achievement Award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards, Best Adapted Screenplay at the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Mid-Season Awards, and many other nominations. It is currently nominated for Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production at the Annie Awards with many considering it likely for the film to garner nominations at the next Academy Awards (it was not nominated by the Golden Globes).

REWATCH-O-METER: PADDINGTON 2 is such a fun movie that you can easily play it with the intention of being background noise and find yourself sucked into the fun and whismical adventures of the young Peruvian bear and his adoptive family. But, if you pay close attention, there are tons of sight gags and hidden treats peppered throughout each frame. The beautiful composition and set design are fascinating to unpack and you will come to appreciate just how hard it actually can be to create a family film that is as fun for grown ups as it is for kids. This is a movie that you can watch over and over again and it never gets old.

comedy, Family, Paul King, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, julie walters, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Paddington 2, 2018, Best Movies of the Year, Best Movies of 2018





Source: JoBlo.com



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