In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing..
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It’s all heartwarming fare of the finest variety, with enjoyably anarchic flights of fantasy interspersed with Mary’s brisk wisdom – and which crucially manages to keep all whispers of cynicism at bay.
Mary Poppins Returns propels the Banks family and its nonpareil nanny on so many gusts of poignant, humorous invention that it leaves not just the cast but any non-Grinch audience floating merrily in mid-air.
Painful. I was ready to surrender to this new take on Mary Poppins with its casting of the charming Blunt and the pedigree of the filmmakers, but instead found the film insufferable throughout. The scripting was quite awful and worse yet were the new songs written for the film that failed to connect on any level. As for Blunt: one would like to be forgiving for taking on such an iconic role, but...
Oh, there are some black, black hearts in some of the reviews! I thought this was just wonderful - what initially comes off as a breathtakingly shameless attempt to facsimile the original quickly won me over as it became clear that Marshall et al had actually pulled it off, and in some ways even *improved* upon the original. "I feel like I can do anything" exclaimed my kids as they waltzed from the theatre.
MPR is the film we need at this time, but perhaps one we’re a bit too cynical to take. Cemented in ideals of kindness, strong community, and interdependence, Marshall’s film carries the lessons we, as a collective, are just aching to learn. Yet, the optimistic nature seems to be deterring many viewers. And isn’t that ironic considering Michael Banks’ narrative arc of allowing a little magic into his life?
Not a single song got stuck on my head like on the first time I watched the 1964 classic. And the biggest nostalgia I felt was for Fantasia, as Emily Blunt cosplays Mickey Mouse's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice".
Can't even approach the monolithic original, a perfect piece of cinema (from script to performance to design), but it's kinda fun on it's own. Blunt excels in what is an exceptionally difficult role, coming across as stern but charming, but there's not enough of her. Whenever she's offscreen, it drags. Some catchy songs, but it's a pale imitation, an enjoyable time and nothing more. Watch the original instead.
I wasn't surprised that this film was, more or less, a retread of the original and had more emphasis on spectacle than substance. However, I was surprised by how much it captured the magic and charm of the original. I was enchanted by the Old Hollywood tone of it, hummed along with the songs, was dazzled by the dancing, was impressed by Emily Blunt's performance, and just had a jolly holiday at the movies.