After seven siblings lose their mother, they become increasingly naughty and unruly. When Governess, Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives, she uses her special powers to bring order to the family home. Meanwhile, the children's father, Mr Brown (Colin Firth) is under pressure to re-marry.
Emma Thompson the only person to have won Oscars for both acting and writing, plays Nanny McPhee based on the Nurse Matilda books which she adapted into a screenplay. Since the death of their mother the Brown children have become difficult and unruly. Mr Brown - Colin Firth is at his wits end with hiring nannies, having lost 17 already to the children's outrages antics orchestrated by eldest son Simon -Thomas Sangster. When their father is refused anymore help from the agency Nanny McPhee - Emma Thompson mysteriously arrives on their doorstep. To add to his woes domineering Aunt Adelaide - Angela Lansbury insists that he marry within a month or they will loose the family allowance and home. The search for a mother is on but Mr. Brown is oblivious to his pining scullery maid, Evangeline - Kelly Macdonald. Nanny McPhee is Mary Poppins for the Harry Potter generation but with darker Lemony Snicket's sensibilities. Jam packed with eye candy there is no doubt that this film will beguile the little ones but maybe let down the parents with it's predictable story line. Emma Thompson casts a convincing spell as the snagglethoothed wart faced nanny who uses much restraint in her magic forcing the children to work things out for themselves. She is complemented by Colin Firths harried widower with exceptional performances to be found in the supporting cast as well. The highlight of these being Angela Lansbury as the eccentric moneyed aunt who is back on the screen after a 20 year hiatus. Don't expect any major surprises, it mightn't have a wardrobe and a lion but it's still a magical ride