Written by Tracey Blake
There was a time when Monty was about 2 and Minnie about 5 that we watched Mary Poppins almost every day (Step In Time used to make them both go bonkers high kicking around the living room).
So we were pretty excited about Mary Poppins Returns – so much so that we went to see it the first day it came out.Here’s our verdict…
Emily Blunt is practically perfect in every way (see what I did there?) as Mary Poppins – she’s smart, strict, witty, has a great voice (who knew?) and some fabulous costumes.
The plot also stands up – we see Jane and Michael as grown ups, Michael is now a parent to three children himself and is having a hard time, so Mary sweeps in to save the day.
On the way there in the car Monty asked if there would be ‘cartoon bits’ again and I can confirm that is the magic mix of real action and animation magic when Mary does her thing. And yes, she does say, ‘Spit spot!’ and her iconic carpet bag has a starring role.
It’s also a love letter to London which looks utterly gorgeous throughout. Plus Meryl Streep is hilarious as Mary’s quirky Euro cousin who fixes things. The children were delighted to recognise her from Mama Mia – poor Meryl, she’s only been nominated for 21 Academy Awards but to them she’s ‘the mum from Mama Mia’!!
Slight bum notes: it’s quite long, the songs didn’t seem as epic/catchy as the first but then I haven’t heard them 50 times, and sorry but I wasn’t mad on American Lin-Manuel Miranda playing street lamp lighter Jim – he’s a Broadway star and he’s a bit cheesy. There are so many great British actors I’m not sure why they didn’t cast a real Brit. But I guess an American doing a rubbish Cockney accent is kind of traditional for Mary Poppins!
I must admit that the movie had rather a strange effect on me – I started crying as soon as Mary appeared dangling from her brolly in the sky and at quite a few other bits (I must be stressed and emotional!) including when Dick Van Dyke makes his cameo and does a dance. The man is now in his 90s!
Go see it, it’s a great Christmas holiday movie, we give it a solid 9/10. Stressed mums should take tissues!