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NANNY DIARIES, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Working class college student Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson) ends up in the elite and ritualistic culture of Manhattan's Upper East Side - far removed from Annie's suburban New Jersey upbringing. Annie accepts the position as nanny for the wealthy X family and quickly learns that life is not very rosy on the other side of the tax bracket, as she must cater to the every whim of Mrs. X (Laura Linney) and her precocious 4-year old Grayer (Nicholas Art), while attempting to avoid the formidable Mr. X (Paul Giamatti). Life becomes even more complicated when Annie falls for a gorgeous Park Avenue Hottie (Chris Evans), and she's forced to re-examine her life and the direction in which it is headed.

Review by Elizabeth Meyer:
It may be ready-made Oprah Book Club fare, but this adaptation of the novel by former nannies Emma McLaughin and Nicola Kraus is fun, even if it is occasionally shallow. It's the stars who make it such fun, with an able Scarlett Johansson in relatively new comic territory as Annie Braddock, a recent college graduate who stumbles into a job caring for the 4-year-old boy of the wealthy New York City "X" family. Neurotic, overbearing shrew Mrs. X, played with relish by the versatile Laura Linney, is unaware of what Annie knows - that the boy is in desperate need of parental affection and that Mr. X is having an affair.

Writer-directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are careful in establishing Annie's world, and even if the "New York as anthropologist study" presentation is a little gimmicky, they sell it well (the way they introduce their American Splendor star Paul Giamatti's Mr. X is precious). Johansson is convincing in conveying her existential frustration, especially when paired up with the equally photogenic Chris Evans (Sunshine) as the Harvard Hottie who lives in the building (and it sure must have been painful for the Boston area native to sport that Yankees cap). It is nice to see the lovely Alicia Keys (Smokin' Aces), though her role as Annie's best friend is a bit superfluous.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

NANNY DIARIES, THE (M)
(US, 2007)

CAST: Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Paul Giamatti, Alicia Keys, Chris Evans, Donna Murphy, Nicholas Art, Nathan Corddry,

PRODUCER: Richard N. Gladstein

DIRECTOR: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

SCRIPT: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini (novel by Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Terry Stacey

EDITOR: Robert Pulcini

MUSIC: Mark Suozzo

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mark Ricker

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 27, 2007







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