Top positive review
Worth Seeing and Worth Owning
26 December 2018
Well, what a delightful film this is! And I will say that I wasn't sure at all that a sequel or remake of Mary Poppins was needed or even a good idea. However, catching a tv showing of the old film from 1964 over the holidays convinced me otherwise. Julie Andrews' Mary Poppins is, of course, practically perfect in every way and Dick van Dyke is hugely enjoyable as Bert, dodgy accent and all, but that's as far as it goes. The two children in the old film are actually quite creepy and as to the parents... the dizzy suffragette who hides away her sash and becomes the unempowered little wife at the sight of her pompous husband is utterly infuriating. So yes, an update was needed. And you know what? It's turned out to be a hugely entertaining one. Which was, I suspect, made as much with the audience of middle aged parents and grandparents in mind as the young generation - many of the nods to the original may be wasted on young children but do add a welcome element of nostalgia for those of us who have grown up with the 1964 version. Dick van Dyke's cameo in particular can't fail to make anybody smile.
I myself found the entire film hugely enjoyable. The cast is excellent. Emily Blunt is a worthy successor of Julie Andrews in the title role. And she can sing too! Lin Manuel Miranda works fine for me as the lamp lighter Jack, Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer are both well cast as the adult Michael and Jane, I found Michael's three young children very likable, and it's a treat to have the likes of Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and the always wonderful Julie Walters appear in supporting roles. As far as I'm concerned the script is fine, the songs are nice and catchy, and the whimsical adventures the children have with the world's favourite supernanny are a joy to behold on the screen. My favourite was the visit to Topsy's house. Meryl Streep's performance is deliciously OTT. Great entertainment for the family, either over the holidays or just to while away a wet Sunday afternoon. Definitely worth seeing and worth owning.