Mary Poppins Returns Review
Walt Disney Pictures
What’s It About?
Now grown up, Michael Banks is in dangers of losing the family home, following his wife’s death and taking his eye of the finances. Fortunately Mary Poppins is available to step in and help his family.
Who’s In It?
Emily Blunt (Young Victoria, Edge Of Tomorrow, & more recently A Very Quiet Place)
Lin-Manuel Miranda (The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, Speech & Debate)
Ben Whishaw (Perfume, Paddington 1-2, & more recently A Very English Scandal)
Other notables include:
Emily Mortimer (Match Point, Shutter Island, & more recently The Party)
Colin Firth (Pride And Prejudice, The King’s Speech, & more recently Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again)
Meryl Streep (Out Of Africa, The Devil Wears Prada, & more recently The Post)
Director: Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs Of A Geisha, & more recently Into The Woods)
Fans of the original will certainly not be disappointed with Disney’s Mary Poppins reboot, with director Rob Marshall sticking faithfully to the 1964 classic. With plenty of nods to people, places and songs throughout the film, Mary Poppins Returns begins where the last one ended – Cherry Tree Lane.
Twenty years on, and Michael Banks has grown up and had a family. But 1935 has not been kind to him. With Britain in the midst of the Great Depression, and following the death of his wife, Michael has had to ditch his job as an artist to become a teller in a bank. Unfortunately he has not been able to stay on top of the finances, and as a result the bank are threatening to repossess his family home.
With a crisis looming, things look particularly bleak until Mary Poppins returns in all her glory to sort out his three kids, and remind Michael and his sister Jane of the joy they felt as chidren.
With a cracking cast and foot-tapping tunes, director Rob Marshall has certainly pulled out all the stops, managing to update the tale somewhat, while still remaining ever so faithful to the original. Part-time Paddington Ben Whishaw, and Emily Mortimer are wonderful as the grown up Banks children, while youngsters Nathanael Saleh, Pixie Davies and Joel Dawson excel.
There is also strong support from the likes of Oscar-winners Colin Firth and Meryl Streep, as well as British legend Julie Walters, while relative newcomer Lin-Manuel Miranda hits the right note as Jack, a gas lighter, in a similar type of role to that of Bert’s in the original – complete with dodgy accent.
However, Mary Poppins lives and dies with its lead, and die-hard fans will have been concerned at anyone attempting to replace Dame Julie Andrews. Incredibly, Emily Blunt is at her best when belting out the tunes, but her Poppins is a little different to Andrews’. A little sterner, perhaps a little less warm, and dare we say it, a little vain with an unnecessarily exaggerated plummy-ness – a minor grumble we must confess, given her performance is still strong and her voice wonderful.
Aside from that, there are also some fabulous cameos, in addition to Streep, guaranteed to warm the heart, in what is a wonderful family film, which remains truly faithful to the original, even if it does fall a little short – but then again, that was a classic.
In A Nutshell:
A great homage to the original with strong performances and foot-tapping numbers, but it falls a touch short of the classic.
The look and feel of the film perfectly captures the original
The musical numbers
Dare we say it, but Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins is a little faux plummy, a touch stern and a tad vain.