Bridget Jones’s Baby (15) – A Preview

It’s twelve years since Renée Zellweger first brought Helen Fielding’s newspaper column to life, and after the wobbly sequel a few years back, this third instalment represents a resounding return to form. The diarised format is all but abandoned, but otherwise the action is very much centred on Bridget’s London life, the still part of a turning world.

In the film’s first act, there are all sorts of whimsical set pieces, with Zellweger gamely pratfalling all over the place. Once the necessities of the setup have been accomplished, however, things settle down and an altogether more poignant storyline emerges. Zellweger does a good job of reimagined Bridget in her forties, while Colin Firth is suitably and comically stiff as the resolute Mr Darcy. Newcomers Sarah Solemani and Patrick Dempsey inject new life into the franchise, as do a cast packed with solid British talent in tiny roles. Jim Broadbent, Sally Philips, Shirley Henderson, Neil Pearson, Patrick Malahide and even Ed Sheeran add weight to a script written by Emma Thompson (who cheekily makes sure her character has all the best lines).

There has been much chatter about the new Trainspotting film, and how it is a profound meditation on the difficulties and disappointments of men trapped in midlife. It’s worth reflecting that, for all the farcical clowning that goes on, Bridget Jones’s Baby covers much the same ground from a female perspective with an enviable lightness of touch and good humour.

David Vass