MARY POPPINS RETURNS
By Mary Cox
Disney has brought back Mary Poppins in a sequel starring Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins. I wasn’t sure if anyone could replace Julie Andrews in the original classic. Even though Blunt’s voice isn’t as perfect as Andrew’s, she did a decent job singing and she is a better dancer. I bought Blunt as Mary Poppins.
“Mary Poppins Returns” takes place 25 years after the original. The Banks children are now adults. Michael Banks, (Ben Whishaw), is a widower with three children. He is about to lose his home because he was three months behind in his payments. Unfortunately, his sister Jane is unable to help out financially. Finding their father’s shares in the bank is the only way the two of them can save the house. They start searching for the bonds. The evil banker, (Colin Firth), does everything he can to keep the Banks from saving their home. In flies Mary Poppins to save the day with the help of her friend Jack, (Lin-Manuel Miranda), a lamp lighter.
Joel Dawson as the youngest Bank’s child, Georgia, is delightful. This is his first role in a movie. He was terrific and you will see him in more roles in the future.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was a disappointment to me. Because of “Hamilton” I thought he would have a great voice. He doesn’t; it is adequate at best.
The film was jammed packed with stars. Besides the Blunt, Firth and Miranda, Dick Van Dyke, Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Angela Lansbury all have roles in” Mary Poppins Returns.”
The costumes by three-time Academy Award winner Sandy Powell are fantastic. They are bight and colorful and the kids will love them. Besides Mary Poppins, Powell will probably be nominated for “The Favourite” this year, too.
No one does animation better than Disney and I loved the bathtub scene. Like the original film, Mary Poppins is wonderful fantasy. The screenplay, by David Magee is not particularly original or even good but no one cares, this is a musical. The screen story was created by David Magee, Rob Marshall and John DeLuca and I know I saw it a million times in movies of the twenties where the bad guy is taking the title of the home away from the rightful owner. The only thing missing here is that no one was tied to the railroad tracks, but as I said, no one cares because this is a musical.
Sadly, the music, by 5 time Academy Award nominee, Marc Shaiman, is nice but very forgettable. There are no songs you will leave the theater humming. In fact, there were none I even remember as I am writing this review.
This is a nice film that the whole family will enjoy but it needs a spoonful of sugar to sweeten the score!
“Mary Poppins Returns” can be seen this weekend at AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12.