Watch Madeline

"In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines..."
  • PG
  • 1998
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 6.0  (7,980)

Madeline is a 1998 comedy-drama film based on the beloved children's book series by Ludwig Bemelmans. The film features a star-studded cast, including Frances McDormand, Nigel Hawthorne, and newcomer Hatty Jones. The story follows the adventures of Madeline (Jones), a plucky and precocious young girl who lives in a Catholic boarding school in Paris. Despite the stern rule of her headmistress Miss Clavel (McDormand), Madeline constantly finds herself in trouble, from getting her appendix removed to trying to rescue a beloved horse from the butcher.

Things take a darker turn when the school is threatened with closure by the scheming Lord Covington (Hawthorne), who wants to turn it into a factory. Madeline and her friends must find a way to save the school while also dealing with personal challenges and triumphs, from falling in love to standing up to bullies.

The film is directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer with a screenplay by Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett. The production design, costumes, and overall look of the film are absolutely stunning, with vivid colors and period detail bringing the world of 1950s Paris to life.

What sets Madeline apart from other family-friendly fare is its willingness to tackle serious issues in a way that is both accessible and emotionally honest. The film doesn't shy away from the difficult realities of poverty, illness, and social injustice, but it also celebrates the resilience and creativity that children can display in the face of adversity.

The performances across the board are excellent, but the standout is undoubtedly Hatty Jones as Madeline. Jones is a revelation in the role, bringing a natural charm, wit, and vulnerability that make her immediately lovable. McDormand is also fantastic as Miss Clavel, playing the stern nun with a mixture of discipline and compassion that makes her one of the film's most compelling characters.

Nigel Hawthorne rounds out the principal cast with a deliciously villainous turn as Lord Covington. Hawthorne is clearly having a blast playing the mustache-twirling bad guy, and his scenes with McDormand are among the film's most memorable.

Madeline is a film that will appeal to both children and adults, with its blend of humor, heart, and social commentary. It's a testament to the enduring popularity of the source material that the film still feels fresh and relevant more than two decades later.

Overall, Madeline is a delightful, charming, and affecting movie that captures the spirit of the books while also standing on its own as a classic family film. It's hard not to fall in love with Madeline and her plucky band of misfits, and the film is sure to leave you with a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart.

Madeline is a 1998 kids & family movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0.

Where to Watch Madeline
Madeline is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Madeline for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (7,980)