It's Official: 'Paddington 2' Is Better Than 'Citizen Kane'
Director Paul King has responded after a negative review from 1941 toppled Orson Welles' classic
Published Apr 28, 2021Contrarians, start your engines. It's time to pretend you don't like the impossibly adorable, duffle coat-adorned Peruvian bear, because Paddington 2 is once again the best-reviewed movie of all time.
When it first came out, Paul King's delightful sequel was briefly listed as the top-reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes. That was toppled by Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, which, despite never going away, has been experiencing a renewed interest thanks to Mank. But a negative review from 1941 has now dropped CK's score to 99 percent fresh.
The site unearthed a Chicago Tribune review from 1941 with the headline, "Citizen Kane Fails to Impress Critic as Greatest Ever Filmed."
"You've heard a lot about this picture and I see by the ads that some experts think it 'the greatest movie ever made,'" the review reads. "I don't. It's interesting. It's different. In fact, it's bizarre enough to become a museum piece. But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value."
Read the full review here.
Some 80 years later, that negative review means Paddington 2 is officially the GOAT. And director Paul King has responded to the achievement.
"It's extremely lovely to be on 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."
He added that if Welles "had access to the kind of technology" available today, he might have come up with something "nearly as good" as Paddington 2. "But he had to make do. He had muster his meagre talent into merely knocking out Citizen Kane."
When asked how Paddington Bear himself would respond to the designation, King replied, "I imagine he'd just crack open the marmalade and have a second sandwich — you'd like to think he wouldn't get too carried away. But maybe he would! I'm not sure he's known such an honour in his young life."
Paddington himself has now weighed in:
I do hope Mr Kane won't be too upset when he hears I've overtaken him with rotten tomatoes.— Paddington (@paddingtonbear) April 28, 2021
Then, when asked about how he thinks Orson Welles would respond, King added, "I like to think of him dropping that snow globe and muttering, 'Marmalade.'"
Paddington 3 is currently in the works. Here's hoping it doesn't suffer the fate of, say, The Godfather III.