Movie Review by Silvia Felce
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Paul Giamatti, Alicia Keys, Chris Evans
Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
THE NANNY’S DIARIES is based on the bestselling novel of the same name, written by two former nannies, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. It tells the story of Annie Braddock, who becomes a nanny for a super rich family living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
While in the book Annie is studying child development, in the film she has just graduated and is not sure of what to do next. She would love to be an anthropologist while her single mother, would like her to be a CEO. Having just blown out an interview with a big company, Annie is strolling around Central Park where she meets Mrs X (Laura Linney), who hires her as a nanny for her son Grayer (Nicholas Reese Art).
The twist in the story from the original book to the film version lies in Annie’s love for anthropology, as the narrative is told from her point of view while she is analysing an ethnic group – the families on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in fact.
While THE NANNY DIARIES could have been an average film, the excellent performances from Linney and Giamatti, as the infamous Mrs and Mr X, are brilliant and vicious. Johansson in an unusually unglamorous role, which is closer to Charlotte in LOST IN TRANSLATION than some of her recent roles, displays good comedic skills.
THE NANNY’S DIARIES could have been like THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, another successful book made into a very funky and funny film, instead the story here is given a false, serious approach with too many cliches that just didn’t help. The film has some entertaining moments but in general it is unexciting. If only they had captured the frivolous ingenuity of the book and left anthropology to one side.