Nanny McPhee (2005, GBR/USA/FRA) C-98m. SCOPE ** D: Kirk Jones. Starring Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Kelly Macdonald, Thomas Sangster, Eliza Bennett, Jennifer Rae Daykin, Raphael Coleman, Angela Lansbury, Imelda Staunton, Derek Jacobi. Update of MARY POPPINS (1964) finds single father Firth in trouble with his seven naughty children. All the available nannies have resigned, so it's up to mysterious, ugly-looking nanny Thompson to teach them some manners. Colorfully designed fantasy comedy is well-acted, though some of the subplots are rather mild. Emma Tompson based her script on the books by Christianne Brand. Good score by Patrick Doyle. Director Jones' first film since his debut WAKING NED (1998).

© Ron Altman