The Dove Take:
You’ll enjoy this sequel with its wonderful references and fresh music, even if we’ve lost a teeny bit of Practically Perfect.
Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael’s children through a difficult time in their lives.
The Dove Review:
“Don’t stay away too long”
That was the last line in the original Mary Poppins as Bert watched her sail off into the London horizon. We’d all agree it’s been too long! My gushy heart actually leapt, and I wept, when Mary Poppins returned. From the onset, this film felt thrilling, delivering a wonderfully nostalgic and delightful jaunt down Cherry Tree Lane. Lin Manuel-Miranda is perfect. The whole opening sequence begins with painted scenes of the story, setting us up for a feast of new and old wonderfully mixed together.
Emily Blunt does a beautiful job as Mary Poppins, possibly the hardest, most iconic shoes to fill in the universe. In fact, the whole cast does marvelous work. The problem, as I see it, and perhaps why reviewers are not giving this movie high marks, is Magee’s screenplay itself. My family’s reaction to the new ideas and the new kinds of magic was very mixed. A couple of the scenes were just plain off-brand for Mary Poppins. The vaudeville number with Manuel-Miranda is fun, but it’s the first jarring moment with Mary Poppins donning a racy new hairstyle. But even more egregious—how could a magical adventure end up as a nightmare? No! In that moment, we actually break trust with the infallible nanny, and she’s not who we want her to be from that point forward. And the whole scene with the great Meryl Streep is just plain weird.
Nevertheless, it’s worth seeing and enjoying with your family. We watched the original film last night, and it made it fun to recognize more clearly all the delightful homages to the best of the best.