By Rubie Barker
Thanks to the discovery of an 80-year-old review of Citizen Kane, the film went from a rating of 100% to 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. But one film which does still have 100% on the infamous film review website is the wholesome and charming Paddington 2. There are other films on the website that score a 100% like Singing in the Rain and The Philadelphia Story, but thanks to the volume of reviews for Paddington 2, it now reigns supreme. Naturally, this usurpation has generated a lot of conversation over what makes Paddington 2 such a good film and whether it really is the best movie ever made? So naturally here I am, weighing in my expert opinion.
First, we must turn to the icon himself from darkest Peru, that is Paddington Bear. The marmalade loving, duffle coat-wearing bear was created by author Michael Bond in the 1950s and his adoption by the caring Brown family, as seen in the 2014 Paddington film, revived the love that many people had for the books they read growing up. For children, the draw of the Paddington films is the storytelling, engaging imagery and the adventure, but a key part of the success of the films is the nostalgia it brings for parents and grandparents alike who were introducing the young members of their families to the new adventures of their favourite bear.
The success of the film certainly wasn’t hindered by the all-star cast that includes the likes of Hugh Grant, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi. It may also be thanks to this that it received three BAFTA nominations at the 71st awards, including a nomination for the prestigious Outstanding British Film.
If the recent conversation about the films has inspired you to go and watch it for the first time, firstly, why haven’t you seen it already?! And secondly, don’t read on because serious spoiler alert!
In Paddington 2, Paddington finds himself caught up in all sorts of trouble in his quest to find the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday present. From ending up in jail where he makes friends with his inmates to nearly drowning and ending up in a coma, the plot swings from heartwarming to heart-wrenching, leaving the audience in constant fear for Paddington’s life. After seeing Paddington get sent to jail for a crime we all know he didn’t commit, the Browns realise that his new inmates cannot resist loving Paddington as much as they do and as much as we do.
It is very rare for a sequel to be better than the original, and considering the warm reception that Paddington received, with a score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, it would have been a massive achievement for a sequel to perform any better. But it did. Building on our love for the bear who does all he can to make his loved ones happy and placing him in perilous situations, with an evil Hugh Grant framing him for his own villainous actions, Paddington 2 made us fonder than ever of not just Paddington, but the Brown family too.
If like me you would love to see another film following the adventures and tribulations of Paddington, then I have great news. StudioCanal confirmed earlier this year that Paddington 3 is most certainly in the works.
I will end here by echoing the words of senior film critic at IndieWire, David Ehrlich:
“Please don’t misinterpret the adjusted Rotten Tomatoes rankings to mean that Paddington 2 is now the best movie of all time. Paddington 2 *already was* the best movie of all time. Thank you”.
I think it is about time for me to go and rewatch Paddington 2.
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