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Paddington, the lovable bear from Peru, is back. Once again, he’s getting himself into a pickle. His friend Mr. Gruber owns an antique shop; the shop has a unique handmade book that Paddington wants to buy for his Aunt Lucy back in Peru. Unfortunately, someone else is interested in it too. When the book goes missing, Paddington gets blamed for the burglary.

This delightful movie is full of wit and wonder. Paddington makes friends wherever he goes, including a stint in jail, and his knack for finding the best in people makes his world a better place. He only has two nemeses: the self-appointed neighborhood watchman, Mr. Curry, who decided he didn’t like Paddington the first time he saw him because he’s different, and the villainous, formerly popular actor Phoenix Buchanan, who finds that Paddington is getting in the way of what he wants.

Hugh Grant’s hilarious turn as the vain and ruthless Buchanan is just one of the vibrant characters who bring the story to life. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins play the charmingly mismatched Mr. and Mrs. Brown, and the inmates at the prison are both menacing and, eventually, kind-hearted. While my friend and I laughed out loud at Grant’s loopy character, her daughter was busy identifying which of the actors had been in Harry Potter movies. It is certainly a feast of British actors.

Paddington 2 is a warm family film filled with action, including carnival, a prison break, trains, a treasure hunt, and even a musical number. It’s a cinematic breath of fresh air; for a lighthearted escape from the seriousness of the world, you can do no better. (Warner Bros)

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