we have watched a lot of movies (and tv, and cartoons, and who knows what) over the course of the recent sickness. too many, even. actually, mostly it was the kid watching movies, with me trying to ignore them. but we did watch paddington together.
they really tried, with this one. it looks gorgeous, all-star cast, a zillion cameos (including almost the entire cast of horrible histories, it seemed), a ridiculously evil villain and wildly dramatic plot, and so many zany, quirky, whimsical touches, it made me want to scream "stop with the whimsy already!" gratuitous carousel horses as decor! flowering trees painted on the walls! teapots that doubled as model trains! there's even a quirky group of street musicians - just about the only non-white people in the film - that pop up here and there to contribute to the "fun" atmosphere. just stop.
one of the big focal points of whimsy was the mother, mrs. brown, played by the lovely sally hawkins, dressed like the middle-aged version of the most manic manic pixie dream girl ever.
but i must confess, i did like some of her clothing. i just wouldn't have worn it all at once. here, she's wearing a flowered tie-neck blouse, red cabled sweater, and heavily embellished cardigan. is it really that cold?
production design is important. wes anderson is the obvious master of sublime production design - but it is always in support of the story. it never takes over. paddington must have been so much fun for the set decorators and wardrobe (they reeeeeeally love knitwear) and props. it's almost as though a bunch of designers got together and came up with a "look" and then looked for a story to prop it up, and chose paddington somewhat at random. a classic, a longtime favourite, it's actually surprising it took them this long to get around to it. only, i kind of wish they hadn't, in a way.
unsurprisingly, director paul king has some tv credits behind him (he's a mighty boosh alum), but not much else. i dimly remember his only previous feature - bunny and the bull - as being so whimsical we were unable to finish it. there's a certain vein of "but the english are supposed to be eccentric, the more eccentric the better" that sometimes pops up in both film and tv, and generally leads to massively self-indulgent and unwatchable absurdity. meh.
still, i have some red yarn in need of a project, and i think i might make this hat (one of at least five hats she wears in the film).
here's what i've swatched so far:
and i can see making this cardigan for the kid at some point (i was actually cahrting up a different squirrel the other day). but i won't expect him to wear it over two pullovers in the bath.