Film Review: Mary Poppins Returns
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- Published on Wednesday, 12 December 2018 17:03
- Last Updated on 17 December 2018
- Monica Costa
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Mary Poppins Returns opens in UK cinemas on 21st December and you are in for a treat. I was lucky enough to see it very early on and I can say that it is the family film of the year. Don’t compare it with the original classic movie and don’t feel nostalgic about it. Mary Poppins Returns has to be seen as a standalone original musical comedy to be truly enjoyed. The soundtrack includes a few catchy songs which will eventually become classic tunes in their own right.
The screenplay is by David Magee, Rob Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers.
Mary Poppins Returns is Disney’s sequel of the original movie. The eccentric nanny is back to help the next generation of the Banks family in Depression-era London find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. When she arrives the adult Banks kids, Michael and Jane, are in such financial straits that they’re about to lose the beloved family home on Cherry Tree Lane.
Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.
It has taken more than 50 years, but Disney has finally brought its universally beloved character Mary Poppins back to the screen with Rob Marshall, the Oscar-winning Chicago and Into The Woods director at the helm. The original classic movie was first released on the big screen in 1964.
London Roehampton born and bred Emily Blunt is the new face for the iconic P.L. Travers’ umbrella-toting magical nanny taking on a role that Julie Andrews was perfect for. After all, the original film is Disney’s crown jewel, the most honoured movie in its history with 13 Oscar nominations and five wins (best picture, best actress and best original score). It was Disney’s biggest box-office movie of the Sixties. In over 50 years the movie has been released in 17 different languages and has always had great universal appeal. Now it also has the nostalgic factor which made this sequel even more challenging for the filmmakers.
Mary Poppins was the first live-action film I saw as a child in the Seventies and I kept watching it in cinemas first every Christmas at least for 10 consecutive years. Like myself, I can imagine most parents these days would see this character as the most familiar and adored. Emily Blunt is a slightly corny for me but she is good in this role that requires a lot of singing and dancing.
Ben Whishaw stars as Michael Banks. I personally adore him for his role as the voice Paddington in the British comedies. From the Paddington films there’s also Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen.
Colin Firth plays the evil Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins and Meryl Streep is Mary Poppins’ eccentric cousin, Topsy.
Legendary 90+ Angela Lansbury is amazing as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books, who performs the best song Nowhere to Go But Up with the ensemble at the end of the film.
92-year-old Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character. It’s a brilliant small singing and dancing part but his cameo is one of my favourite moments in the movie. It proves the point that the original movie is still so stuck in our memories that it makes it very difficult for any new Mary Poppins film to surpass it.
London Mums’ rating: 8/10
Kids’ club rating: 8/10
Trip A Little Light Fantastic video live now:
The Place Where Lost Things Go video live now:
The track list includes the following songs:
- “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky” – Performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda
- “Overture” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “A Conversation” – Performed by Ben Whishaw
- “Can You Imagine That?” – Performed by Emily Blunt with Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson and Nathanael Saleh
- “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” – Performed by Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson and Nathanael Saleh
- “Introducing Mary Poppins” – Performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt
- “A Cover Is Not the Book” – Performed by Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Company
- “The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Performed by Emily Blunt
- “Turning Turtle” – Performed by Meryl Streep with Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson and Nathanael Saleh
- “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” – Performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda with Emily Blunt, Tarik Frimpong, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh and Leeries
- “The Place Where Lost Things Go (Reprise)” – Performed by Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh and Pixie Davies
- “Trip a Little Light Fantastic (Reprise)” – Performed by Dick Van Dyke with Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson and Nathanael Saleh
- “Nowhere to Go But Up” – Performed by Angela Lansbury, Ben Whishaw, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters and Company
- “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky (Reprise)” – Performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda
- “Theme from Mary Poppins Returns” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Kite Takes Off” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Mary Poppins Arrives” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Magic Papers” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Banks in the Bank” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Into the Royal Doulton Bowl” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Rescuing Georgie” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Off to Topsy’s” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Chase Through the Bank” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Lost in a Fog” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Goodbye Old Friend” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “Race to Big Ben” – Performed by Marc Shaiman
- “End Title Suite” – Performed by Marc Shaimam
Pre-Order Link: https://umc.lnk.to/MaryPoppinsReturns
Watch my interview with Lin Manuel Miranda on his Mary Poppins singing and dancing role:
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWn6HENPMi0&t=5s” /]
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums