I experienced a fair few moments of sheer joy in 2017. Most were festival and food related, but none quite matched the feeling of giddy, emotional euphoria that washed over me during the hours I sat in a Leicester Square cinema on a windy December night watching a kids’ movie sequel. I hadn’t even seen the first Paddington film and was slightly concerned that the narrative might be a touch difficult to follow, but hearing rave reviews from pals and the internet alike, I headed to the cinema, my belly full of special fried rice from Chinatown and a head full of expectation. Anyway, I needn’t have worried – it turns out that films made for a primary school audience are pretty easy to pick up when you’re an actual adult. That’s not to say Paddington 2 is a simple film though. Oh no. Part physical comedy that references the silver screen greats – Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Jacques Tati – part heart-string tugging family melodrama, part Michael Bay action thriller, part Monty Python odd-com and as deeply English as the runaway bathtub from Last of the Summer Wine, Paddington 2 is a multi-layered delight of a movie. So what if it’s ostensibly for six year olds?
It seems I’m not the only grown-up to have fallen head over heels in love with the movie. Following up on its unprecedented 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes – a rare feat when slagging off stuff seems to provide the internet’s core power – comes a raft of BAFTA nominations for the film. Though some outlets have described its three nods as a ‘surprise’, we’re just shocked it didn’t get more. Up for Outstanding British Film against the rather more serious likes of Darkest Hour and God’s Own Country, as well as Hugh Grant for Supporting Actor for his magnificent turn as a bear-baiting baddie and Adapted Screenplay, there’s plenty of love out there for the nom on Twitter but a certain amount of bafflement too. A kids’ film nominated for a trio of BAFTAs?! Whatever next, Blue Peter presenters in the cabinet reshuffle? Frubes on the menu at Le Gavroche? Peppa Pig to succeed Cressida Dick as the chief of the Metropolitan Police? I can only assume that these naysayers have yet to actually watch Paddington 2. I’m certain that when they do they’ll fall just as madly in love as me. Now the only question left to ask is: what the hell will Paddington wear on the red carpet?