Fifty-four years have passed—the largest gap between an original movie and its sequel—but the time is right for another dose of Mary Poppins.
Set during the “Great Slump” of the 1930s, the film takes place 25 years after the original. The Banks children, Jane and Michael, played by Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw, are grown up and still living on Cherry Tree Lane.
Having suffered the loss of his wife and left to raise his three children, Michael receives an unexpected blow when he discovers that his house will be repossessed within five days.
Enter Mary Poppins, expertly played by Emily Blunt.
Delivering a spoonful less sugar and a pinch more spice than Julie Andrews (the original Mary Poppins), Blunt captivates us from the start. After a graceful landing, she proclaims herself the children’s nanny and sets about reforming the household. Her singing and dancing are impeccable. In a recent interview, Dick Van Dyke suggested that Blunt’s sterner approach is much closer to author P.L. Travers’s vision.
“Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda nails the part of East End London lamplighter Jack. Determined to master the Cockney accent, he worked extensively with a dialect coach while filming Mary Poppins Returns.
I was thrilled to see Dick Van Dyke in a brief cameo as banker Mr. Dawes Junior. Still spry at age 92, he delivers a short monologue, jumps onto a desk, and starts dancing. Definitely the emotional peak of the movie.
The all-star lineup includes Colin Firth as a wolfish banker and entertaining cameos from Meryl Streep and Angela Lansbury.
With four Golden Globe Nominations—Best Actor, Actress, Film, Original Score—Mary Poppins Returns is a strong contender in this year’s award season.
Simply delightful or as Mary Poppins would say: “Practically perfect in every way.”