Jamie Neish: Bear with me. Paddington is great

Paddington Bear. Pic: PA
Paddington Bear. Pic: PA
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THERE are films you love and films you hate. But best of all are the films that stir your emotions to the point that you can’t wait to tell others how brilliant they are.

The latter applies to Paddington, a big screen version of Michael Bond’s beloved creation, which I was lucky enough to see on Sunday morning at a packed preview screening.

From the sepia-infused opening to the action-packed finale set inside the National History Museum, Paddington is an absolute blast of heart and humour from start to finish.

With a cast headed up by Ben Whishaw, who provides the titular Peruvian bear with his soft, soothing vocals, Paddington follows the traditional framework of Bond’s story.

A young bear living in darkest Peru is shipped off to London aboard a cargo vessel by his aunt Lucy when his home is destroyed – and uncle killed – by a devastating forest fire.

The bear makes his way to Paddington Station, where he’s offered a temporary home by the Brown family and awarded an English name: Paddington.

Of course, there’s more to it than that, with scenes of mischief and mayhem aplenty, especially when Nicole Kidman turns up as a Cruella De Vil-type villain. But to reveal anymore would be to ruin the many surprises that lie in store.

What I can say is how wonderful a film this is to watch. It’s easy to see how much love and attention the cast and crew have invested to bring the marmalade-lover to life. A nice sentimental through-line will also have audiences close to tears.

In short, Paddington is the best family film I have seen in years, and one that deserves big audiences.

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