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Riikka March 24th, 2007 'The Nanny Diaries'

From the duo that brought the critically acclaimed American Splendor (2003) to the big screen, directors Shari Berman and Robert Pulcini take the reins of The Nanny Diaries in this film translation of McLaughlin and Kraus’s bestselling novel of the same name.

Capitalizing on the book’s fame and America’s fascination with the monarchal matrons of upper crust society, The Nanny Diaries offers a ruthlessly funny yet humanely tempered look at the life of one Manhattan nanny.

Scarlett Johansson headlines as Annie Braddock, a fresh-out-of-college anthropology major who experiences an identity crisis when trying to enter the professional world. Overwhelmed by her conflicting desires, an overbearing mother (Donna Murphy), and some all-too-familiar financial woes, Annie accepts a nanny position with the Mr. and Mrs. X family (Paul Giamatti & Laura Linney).

At first exhilarated to be living in one of the Big Apple’s Upper East Side apartments, Annie soon gets bogged down with the X’s young son Grayer (Nicholas Art). Just when she starts to turn a page with the dubious preschooler, however, Mr. and Mrs. X’s marital problems begin to unravel everything she’s worked for. While trying to keep up pretenses with her unsuspecting mom, juggle a love interest in the building, and raise Grayer in a fractured home, Annie must choose between her own future and the family she may not be able to save.

Fans of the novel will be pleased to find out that very few alterations have been made from the source material (the name Annie has replaced Nan, Annie has already graduated and is from New Jersey instead of Manhattan, etc). The Mary Poppins motifs and the analytical, case study style of Annie’s observations are all still in the film, giving the movie a down-to-earth, whimsical feel with a Bridget Jones-esque approach to narration (minus the witty brit humor).

For the most part the acting in the film is top notch with outstanding performances given by both Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti. It’s no surprise that the latter would put on a good show, but just how well Giamatti cloaks himself in the contemptuous skin of a true SOB is downright staggering. Scarlett Johansson did fairly well as Annie, but I didn’t feel her persona meshed well with that of her character’s. When Annie finally snaps after nearly two hours of being mentally bludgeoned by Mr. and Mrs. X, I was expecting an all-hell-breaks-loose rebuff from one of Hollywood’s most notorious bad girls. Yet the scene, although satisfying, was much more restrained than I was hoping for and didn’t quite sell. Though to be fair Johansson’s muted performance might have been delimited more by the scope of her character than by the boundaries of her acting prowess.

Overall the film offers a truthful perspective into the nanny culture of upper class society with some humor added in to offset the painfully realistic problems that afflict more and more modern day households. Although not wholly original, fans of the novel and other similar films like The Devil Wears Prada (2006) won’t want to miss The Nanny Diaries when it hits theatres April 20th.

Source: World of KJ

  • Steven Flores
    Posted on March 24, 2007

    Well, Scarlett has always been a minimalist actress and I know iit wasn’t going to be the book.

    Reading from the review, it does seem like a more commercial film which is kind of disappointing. I expected more from the duo of Bergman & Pulcini who both did amazing work on “American Splendor” which was my 2nd favorite film of 2003 behind LIT.

  • hailie
    Posted on March 27, 2007

    omg I knew It would be great. All of scarletts movies rock, Shes so pretty and I Cant wait to see the movie, The lil boy is cute. :biggrin:

  • Current Projects
    Avengers: Endgame
    Role: Natasha Romanoff
    Release Date: 2019
    After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe.

    Marriage Story
    Role: Nicole
    Release Date: 2019
    In the latest from Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz Stories, Frances Ha), a stage director (Adam Driver) and his actor wife (Scarlett Johansson) struggle through a gruelling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes.

    Jojo Rabbit
    Role: Rosie Betzler
    Release Date: 2019
    A World War II satire about a ten-year-old boy who, ridiculed by his peers and misunderstood by his mother, can't quite figure out how to fit in. As the naïve young German struggles to understand his place in an increasingly Fascist regime, he resorts to an imaginary friend (to be played by Taika) who can offer advice and help him cope.

    Black Widow
    Role: Natasha Romanoff
    Release Date: May 1st, 2020
    The plot is unknown at this time.

    Apart EP
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    Out Now on All Music Stations

    Apart EP
    1) Iguana Bird - 3:38
    2) Bad Dreams -3:24
    3) Movies - 4:39
    4) Cigarillo - 3:02
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    Huawei.: 2016 - 2017
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    Scarlett is featured on the cover of the September Issue of The Hollywood Reporter promoting Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story.
    Before Baumbach launched into his pitch about why he thought Johansson would be perfect for the role opposite Adam Driver, the actress shared what was going on in her marriage. “It totally caught me off guard,” Baumbach says. “I was like, ‘Well, you’re going to either hate this idea or love it. This may be exactly not the headspace you want to be putting yourself in, or maybe it will be healing.’ ” The movie, Marriage Story, turned out to be the latter. “We talked a lot about the actual experience of divorce because I was in the middle of the process,” Johansson says. “We talked about becoming a parent, and our parents. The expectation that comes with being in any kind of a relationship, and the disappointment that can come with that expectation.”
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