In Paddington 2, we return to the little bear's world to find him happily ensconced in his small corner of West London, Windsor Gardens. He is now completely at home and settled with his adoptive family, the Browns, although he still unwittingly causes upheaval as he goes about his daily routines.
Mr Brown (Hugh Bonneville) is in the middle of a mid-life crisis – think yoga, a new hairstyle and mental forays back to his 'cool' youth. Mrs Brown, understated but delightfully portrayed by Sally Hawkins, is handling this shift by training to swim the English Channel.
Since we left him, Paddington – with his battered red hat and blue duffle coat – has become an invaluable part of the community, helping out neighbours and generally bringing smiles and good cheer to all who come across him.
The film’s plot revolves around an antique pop-up book of London’s most famous sights that Paddington wants to buy for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday. As one would expect of the moral Paddington, he earns money to purchase the book through honest hard work. Unfortunately, our ursine hero is not the only one with his eye on the book. Enter Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) an actor who has fallen on hard times and is determined to get his hands on the book and its secret.
Grant is hilarious in the role and never misses an opportunity to ham things up. It is arguably Grant's funniest role to date, and with it he steals the show. Buchanan frames Paddington for the crime and it's heartbreaking to see our hero behind bars but before long he's winning his fellow prisoners around.
With cameos from Meera Syal, Joanna Lumley and Jim Broadbent, this unapologetically British film hits all the right festive feelings. And Paddington, a stickler for manners, decency and his belief that if you just tell the truth, everything will turn out right, makes for a refreshing hero.