When news broke yesterday that a long-lost middling review of Citizen Kane spoiled the film’s perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, it confirmed everyone’s sneaking suspicion that Paddington 2 was a better movie. It was something of an unspoken truth shared by the whole of humanity since the sequel came out in 2017. For all of Kane’s technical brilliance, astonishing performances, and full-throated bravado, it can’t compete with Paddington shaving a reverse mohawk into a fussy old Englishman.
Now, Paddington 2 director Paul King has weighed in on the matter, acting as if he didn’t already know what he was doing when he directed that spectacular Hugh Grant musical number. “It’s extremely lovely to be on any list which includes Citizen Kane, but it is obviously quite an eccentric list that goes from Citizen Kane to Paddington 2, so I’ll try not to take it too seriously,” King told The Hollywood Reporter. “I won’t let it go too much to my head and immediately build my Xanadu. But I have been cooking up a model just in case.”
Still, King did have a few notes for Mr. Welles: Be born in a different decade. He joked that had Wells been alive today, and had the technology that brought Paddington to life, maybe—just maybe—he could produce something “nearly as good” as Paddington 2. King also theorized about what Paddington might think of all this, blue-skying a scenario where Paddington “wouldn’t get too carried away.” However, we now know precisely how the Peruvian bear would react thanks to his verified Twitter account. And, yes, he did get pretty carried away.
“I do hope Mr. Kane won’t be too upset when he hears I’ve overtaken him with rotten tomatoes,” tweeted the always magnanimous Mr. P, who deserves an extra serving of marmalade for his achievements.
Praise for Paddington 2 isn’t hard to come by. In 2019, Hugh Grant told Vanity Fair that it was his best film. Hard to find any arguments there. The movie is better than friggin’ Citizen Kane.