Emily Mody - Mary Poppins Returns

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 09:00 PM

Mary Poppins Returns

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Mary Poppins Returns is a feature length musical film directed by Rob Marshall. The story returns to Michael Banks who is now an adult widower with three children of his own. Living with his sister and struggling to make ends meet, Michael has little time for his children who seek an escape that only the magical Mary Poppins can provide. When Michael learns that he has five days to pay back a loan before his home will be repossessed, his life becomes a mad dash to find proof of valuable shares his father left him. Meanwhile, Mary Poppins takes the children on a colourful and fun filled adventure while also teaching them important life lessons. With an all star cast including Emily Blunt, Colin Firth, Emily Mortimer, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, and Meryl Streep, Mary Poppins Returns is a vibrant and whimsical sequel that stays true to its roots.

Overall, this film is good. The acting is excellent. There are various throwbacks to the original film which is also very nice to see. I am critical of a couple aspects, however. Firstly, I found the story structure felt a lot like an emotional slingshot. The sadness that is conveyed at the loss of the family’s loving wife and mother is naturally, deeply upsetting. Her loss is felt everywhere and most notably, in the appearance of Mary Poppins, a structured and compassionate motherly figure that the children were so desperately lacking. I think that the emotionally intricacies that surround this aspect of the story would probably be lost on most young children. It is for this reason that I feel it was probably made more so for that group of moviegoers. Secondly, this film ran much too long in my opinion. I feel that the film would have been more enjoyable and the same amount of information could have been conveyed if it had been an hour less. With all of that being said, however, it is perhaps important to also mention that Mary Poppins Returns is doing very well critically. At the Golden Globes 2019, it is nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Best Original Score – Motion Picture.

I suppose the natural question for most Mary Poppins fans would be how does the sequel compare to the original? Unfortunately, I think that there is no aspect in which the sequel is better than the original. With that being said, Mary Poppins Returns is still a good film and definitely worth watching. The plot was far more complex in the sequel than the original. It is for this reason, that the film felt too long for me. The original Mary Poppins is actually longer than the sequel but the pacing is stronger and therefore did not feel long. I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys musicals or Mary Poppins. It is rated PG and is appropriate for all ages. 

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