The seven siblings Simon, Tara, Lily, Christianna, Sebastian and baby Aggy are maybe the most impossible children in the world. Their poor father Mr Brown, portrayed by Colin Firth, is up to his neck in debt, has his hands full taking care of his seven children, and in addition to this he works long days at the local funeral home. He hires nannies to have someone to take care of the children while he is at work all day. The children, especially the eldest son, Simon, are feeling increasingly dismayed and abandoned with their father's absense, and the children, lead by Simon, continue to act out more every passing day and are successful in sending 17 nannies running from their home.
Then one evening, as the children are in the kitchen and causing their everyday mayhem, a rather funny-looking, one could even say ugly, old lady comes knocking on their door. With her potato nose, gigantic, bushy unibrow, large warts and disgusting teeth, Nanny McPhee, as she introduces herself as, is no picture perfect woman. Mr Brown has strong hesitations about hiring the ugly and strict looking woman, but he is desperate for help at this point. Nanny McPhee has only five rules the children must live by;
1. Go to bed when you're told to.
2. Get out of bed when you're told to.
3. Get dressed when you are told to.
5. Do as you are told when you are told to.
The rules seem simple, but Nanny McPhee enforces them with an iron fist and, more curiously, with a wand! Every time the children try to pull pranks on their nanny, she uses her wand and lets them taste their own medicine. And as the children get used to live by the rules, Nanny McPhee's striking ugliness starts to diminish, and she becomes increasingly loveable.
Nanny McPhee's transformation could be seen as sort of a representation of the golden rule. Treat others as you would have them treat you. As the children do as she says, she becomes nicer, and as they start to think that she is less mean and strict she also physically transforms to fit the image.
The first time Nanny McPhee uses her magic on the children, when they are acting out crazy in the kitchen, and she gets them to say please, which is probably the first time they had said that word since the seventeen nanny parade began is my favorite funny moment of the movie. .
If I were to enter this family as a nanny i would most certainly come armed with Nanny 911 on dvd to tackle those extra hard to handle everyday situations, make good use of the time-out disciplining that is becoming so popular these days, coupled with a rewarding system where the child would get a golden star or a fish every time they did something nice. If that didn't work, I would bring out my bullet-proof vest, helmet, riot shield, tear gas and baton and hope for the best.