In among the turmoil and terror that has lurked in the real world throughout 2017, it falls to cinema to deliver a different perspective on the world. Paddington 2, with returning director Paul King and new co-writer Simon Farnaby working together, provides the most different of viewpoints in this difficult year – one of absolute, unconditional optimism.
Ben Whishaw once again brings a childlike innocence to the title character, who finds himself locked up in jail when a pop-up book he had his eye on is stolen by Hugh Grant's flamboyant luvvie Phoenix Buchanan. The comedy potential of the premise is capitalised upon by all involved, with Grant in particular looking more comfortable than he has in years.
It's refreshing to see a film willing to put all snark to one side. King has produced the perfect family movie, which has slapstick jokes, emotional moments and surprising moments of peril. The final scene, especially, brings with it a wave of pure emotion that only the hardest of hearts could ignore. Those people are due a special hard stare from Paddington.
Paddington 2 is not just the best British film of 2017, but the best movie of the year full stop.