Cast: Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer
Directed by Rob Marshall
Genre: Family , Fantasy , Musical
Running time 130 minutes
Opens January 1st
Early reviews so far are saying this movie is practically perfect in every way. Although there are faults, including a lot of nostalgia relying on our memories of the 1964 Classic. “Mary Poppins Returns” is a welcome addition to the screen after 50 long years. The various P.L.Travers stories are used to provide all sorts of content from the original books.
It’s now some 20 years later and the Banks children, Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) are all grown up, and still in the same house on Cherry Tree Lane. Michael is now a single father of three, Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh), and Georgie (Joel Dawson). Having lost his wife in the past year, his grief has caused him to neglect the family finances and to make matters worse it’s the great depression of the 1930s.
Although unintentional Michael ends up behind on repaying a loan on the house that he took out from Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, the place where his father used to work, and where Michael is currently employed part-time as a teller. as his career as an artist has been put on hold due to the depression. The bank says it will repossess their house in two weeks if he cannot repay the loan. When Jane remembers that their father, who also worked at the bank, had shares that would cover their money worries, they attempt to find the written proof that the shares exists. Enter Mary Poppins, played practically perfectly by Emily Blunt who quickly takes Michael’s children under her wing while Michael and Jane try to secure their future.
Blunt does a good job of putting her own spin on the magical nanny (with her cheeky wit and quiet wisdom). Lin Manuel Miranda best known for his performances in the Broadway musical “Hamilton” is wonderful as Mary’s old friend Jack, and makes for a fitting replacement for Dick Van Dyke’s Bert, especially in his scenes with Mary and the new generation of Banks children.The actor’s in the supporting roles are also brilliant, Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen, Meryl Streep as Mary’s offbeat cousin Topsy, Colin Firth as the wicked bank president, William “Weatherall” Wilkins.
And of course, there are a few cameos that will be well received my audiences including Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury. The new music and choreography also add to the quality of the film with the live-action/animated Royal Doulton bowl segment and the lamplighter scene, both are visually dazzling in their own right, and span the emotional spectrum from the poignant “A Conversation” to the playful ribald version of “A Book is Not the Cover” featuring Miranda. This trip back to Cherry Tree Lane with Mary Poppins, the dancing lamp-lighters, talking umbrella heads, and other silly items complete with a joyful detour into an animated world that comes very close to recapturing the magic of the original
9 Out of 10