Complete A-Z list

Nanny Diaries, The


Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Nicholas Reese Art, Paul Giamatti, Donna Murphy

Director: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

A stylised and semi-surrealist comedy-drama about the idle rich of New
York's Upper East side and the nannies they employ, this is an enjoyable
but unfulfilled film that doesn't know whether to be sentimental, acerbic
or just plain funny, and just isn't stylised enough.

Johansson is prospective high-flyer Annie, who panics at her first
interview and finds herself accidentally hired as a nanny by brittle,
affluent control freak Mrs X (Linney), who simpers to the wishes of her
two-timing husband (Giamatti) and spends her time at meetings, functions
and cocktail parties.

Annie's charge is Mrs X's neglected son Grayer (Art) and, after initial
animosity, she has soon lured him away from coquille Saint Jacques and
into the forbidden pleasures of peanut butter out of a jar. She also
meets the man of her dreams (Chris Evans), which threatens her
relationship with the Xs.

It's hardly surprising that Annie and the film get moralistic at the end,
which makes the movie's high entertainment value something of a guilty
pleasure. A nice item that could have been a cutting-edge gem.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Paramount. Technicolor.
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 05 Oct 2007