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Nanny McPhee Returns (2010)

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (original title)
2:28 | Trailer
Nanny McPhee arrives to help a harried young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war, though she uses her magic to teach the woman's children and their two spoiled cousins five new lessons.


Susanna White


Emma Thompson, Christianna Brand (characters)
4,592 ( 261)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Isabel Green
Oscar Steer ... Vincent Green
Asa Butterfield ... Norman Green
Lil Woods ... Megsie Green
Eros Vlahos ... Cyril Gray
Rosie Taylor-Ritson ... Celia Gray
Daniel Mays ... Blenkinsop
Rhys Ifans ... Phil Green
Maggie Smith ... Mrs Docherty
Sinead Matthews ... Miss Topsey
Katy Brand ... Miss Turvey
Emma Thompson ... Nanny McPhee
Bill Bailey ... Farmer Macreadie
Ewan McGregor ... Mr. Green
Sam Kelly ... Mr. Docherty


Nanny McPhee arrives to help a harried young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war, though she uses her magic to teach the woman's children and their two spoiled cousins five new lessons.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nanny | magic | farm | f rated | flying pig | See All (26) »


Who's Your Nanny? See more »


Comedy | Family | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for rude humor, some language and mild thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


A real elephant had been cast for this movie, but unfortunately it contracted a virus and died. See more »


Mr. Docherty wears the uniform of the Civil Defence Corps. This unit was formed in 1949, long after the WW2 setting for this film. With his white "W" helmet, he should have worn an ARP uniform. See more »


Celia: Where are we?
Cyril: We are in the land of poo. Duck poo, cow poo, goat poo.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Funny animation during end credits (first part). See more »


The Best Things In Life Are Free
(Lew Brown, Buddy G. DeSylva (as B.G. DeSylva), Ray Henderson)
Performed by Bing Crosby
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

So-so, love the actors but hate the script & direction
6 April 2010 | by jburtroald95See all my reviews

The immensely talented Emma Thompson returns to play and write the story of the ultimately wonderful yet outwardly repulsive nanny of the film's title, who assists another desperate single parent by taming their mischievous bunch of spirited youngsters.

The lovely Mrs Green (a perfectly charming Maggie Gyllenhaal) becomes burdened with looking after the family estate, a farm in the English countryside, and her sister's children (Eros Vlahos and Rosie Taylor-Ritson) as well as her own (Asa Butterfield, Oscar Steer and Lil Woods) when her husband (a wordless yet productive Ewan McGregor) goes to war.

The children take advantage of her current frenzied state by squabbling, playing dangerously, making a mess of the house and just generally misbehaving. There is also her scheming brother-in-law Phil (Rhys Ifans at his erratic, despicable, scraggly best) seizing opportunities to prise the ownership of the farm out of her hands, and into those of two ghastly female brutes (a spine-tingling pair of Katy Brand and Sinead Matthews actually evoke sympathy for the villainous Phil) who are relentlessly terrorising him.

To add to her stress, her elderly employer Mrs Docherty (a delightfully senile Maggie Smith) cannot be left alone in her own shop, for fear of disaster.

These are all perfect conditions for the snag-toothed hag with that distinctive silhouette to walk into, and she does just as things are at their most chaotic.

There is no doubt that the cast are superb, and the undisputed highlight of the whole picture. Thompson's reprisal of the role is a joy to behold, with all of the wisdom and subtlety that we saw before, but this time showing more of a range as she experiments with comic moments and more human emotions. Here we also begin to see more of the extent of her mysteriousness. The children also have wonderful chemistry, and emit infinite sparkling charm and innocence with every frame.

Though if only Thompson's acting was again as sharp as her writing, or if only director Kirk Jones had also returned to the project to guide her. The new setting is quite unsuitable, and derails the film in many ways. Gone is the cosy small English village of the original. Gone also is the simplicity, the warmth, the storytelling magic that seeps through from Christianna Brand's original storybooks. These are all sorely missed, as well as those wonderful original characters – Mr Brown, Aunt Adelaide, Evangeline, Mrs Blatherwig, Simon... – and the outstanding actors who played them with such liveliness – Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Kell Macdonald, Imelda Staunton, Thomas Sangster... – who inarguably surpass the new faces, however delightful they may be. It might have been thought that bringing them all back would have been tacky, but that would merely have been more faithful to the books, in which Nurse Matilda makes recurring visits to the Brown household after the children have gone back to their old ways. There is however a single scene containing this precious nuance and poignancy, with Ralph Fiennes excelling as a distant father hardened by the war.

Another of the original 2005 film's many virtues was its wealth of sub-plots and dimensions. Clearly this multi-layered quality has been attempted to replicate, but here the layers that have been added on top of the children's lessons are incredibly hackneyed and childish. It is of course a children's film, but Nanny McPhee had an appeal to adults as well as children, while Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang is more juvenile than it needs to be. Phil's efforts to obtain the farm for his tormentors is a typical side-narrative seen countless times earlier, as is that of the long-last father gone to war. Indeed the incorporation of World War II shows enormous misjudgement, with the heavily restricting boundaries of a film for small children preventing the huge event from being done justice.

The nauseatingly corny and clichéd excuse for a climax is the icing on the cake of Susanna White's horribly naive direction, which unfortunately – together with Thompson's rather sloppy script – represses her and the rest of the remarkably adept cast, tragically capping their potential.

Still, it makes for some amiably enjoyable kids fodder, and thankfully it did not keep Thompson from finishing her role in the Harry Potter series.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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UK | France | USA



Release Date:

20 August 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nanny McPhee Returns See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,407,685, 22 August 2010

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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