An Apology to Paddington 2

Paddington voiced by BEN WHISHAW in the family adventure "PADDINGTON 2," from Warner Bros. Pictures and STUDIOCANAL, in association with Anton Capital Entertainment S.C.A., a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

When I reviewed Paddington 2 back in January, I made a huge mistake by saying the film would not be an awards contender.

In my original review in January, I wrote the following about Paddington 2: “It may not be a contender.”  The funny thing is, it IS a contender.  Back in January, I was probably thinking along the lines as many film critics and box office analysts do.  January is that barren month in which the studios tend to expand Oscar contenders while dumping other films.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a cute film but I had no idea what to expect later in the year.

When one thinks of the perfect anecdote to the cynicism in 2018, we can always go back to this lovable bear.  It’s this bear–after all–who seeks to find the goodness in all of us.  He could be sitting in jail and he’ll still seek to find the goodness in his fellow prison inmates.  This is his nature to do so!

I even pulled out the references to the classics in my review!  Yes, I stand by them.  Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is a Frank Capra classic.  If you put Paddington (Ben Whishaw) in the same room as Jefferson Smith (James Stewart), the two of them could seriously compete for the nicest person in the room.  Would there be a winner?  It’s seriously hard to say because this is how tough the two make for competition.

Hugh Grant amazes us in his role of narcissistic stage star Phoenix Buchanan.  The actor is getting some love late this awards season for Best Supporting Actor.  As he should.  I’m happy to say that I’m including him on my nomination lists.  While there are many actors who put in astonishing performances this year, only one person could play Phoenix Buchanan.

This brings me to another point when it comes to Paddington 2 and the Oscars.  When The Academy released its shortlists for nine categories this past Monday, a real tragedy came in the category of Visual Effects.  Among the ten films shortlisted for the 91st Academy Awards, the film wasn’t one of them.  Instead, The Academy opted to shortlist:

  • Ant-Man and The Wasp
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Christopher Robin
  • First Man
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Welcome to Marwen

If I’m being honest, I would replace Christopher Robin with Paddington 2.  While Disney allowed Christopher Robin to finally grow up in this live-action sequel, the film didn’t quite hit in the same way as Paddington 2.

Paddington 2 is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital/VOD.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.