Having watched Nanny McPhee on a plane trip yesterday, I was ready to write about how similar the relationship was between Colin Firth and Thomas Wossisname, the kid with the intent eyes, to the relationship the same actors had in Love Actually. Then I decided I’d better verify it, and discovered that while Colin was in Love Actually, he played a different character, and that the one I was thinking of was played by Liam Neeson (whose name backwards is No Seen Mail).
Score: Fading brain cells 1, attentive insight 0.
Nanny McPhee was reasonable plain fodder; pleasant enough to watch, never so tight and compelling or anything near unpredictable that you go “nooooooo!” when the captain announces something or you have to go to the bathroom and miss a couple minutes.
Nanny McPhee was adapted from a series of books which was not about a woman named Nanny McPhee, but rather about one named Nurse Matilda. I think that’s actually a rather good thing in an adaptation; they’re paying for some content aspect they want, but also not pushing it as “here’s our version of the work you love”. It gets to be judged as its own thing, rather than as to how wel it captures the whole of the source material.
I also got to see Rumor Has It… in the air, which by halfway through I was thinking was generally better than its reviews, but by the end I felt it didn’t add up to much. The film has an odd grounded-in-film aspect, since in its fiction it’s built around the people who inspired The Graduate (and would be hard to follow if you didn’t know that film, I reckon)… but that did make me want to watch The Player again, so I could hear again the pitch that Buck Henry is making for The Graduate II at the beginning of that film, and see if Reiner just made that movie.
Jennifer Aniston has this one look she gives, this “I’m pondering this over before I reply” look, that she relies on for much of her acting. But it works!