Mary Poppins Returns
Entertainment

Movie review: ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Honors the Spirit of Its Predecessor

Mary Poppins Returns: Disney’s big entry for the Christmas holiday box office race hits theaters this week in a marketplace full of other major players, but that shouldn’t pose much of a problem for Mary Poppins Returns. With sights set on female filmgoers and families in general, the long-awaited sequel to the 1964 classic Mary Poppins is sure to be one of the season’s biggest hits. Its 77% score at Rotten Tomatoes and overall feel-good musical sensibilities will ensure long legs that make a huge domestic opening weekend less important to the picture’s longterm health. But does it deserve the Best Picture buzz it’s getting from some quarters? And will its box office legs be enough to give it the crown for the biggest holiday release?


“We were in the middle of my big musical number, and I was showing off,” Streep says in People’s The Practically Perfect Guide to Mary Poppins special edition. “I told them, the first thing they teach you in drama school is how to fall down. So I marched across the room and pretended to trip and fell down.”

Mary Poppins Returns

Movie review: ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

Unfortunately, the 69-year-old actress fell a little too hard.

“I did it so hard on both of my knees I practically broke them!” she says. “I thought, ‘Don’t be such a jerk, you’re not 11 years old anymore.’”


Streep, who was showing off for Nathanael Saleh, Pixie Davies, and Joel Dawson (John, Annabel, and Georgie Banks in the film), says that “the children are just beyond—you would not believe how great they are.”

But the most extraordinary costumes are the ones Powell has devised for that partially animated sequence: The human actors, newly dropped into a cartoon world, wear dresses, coats and trousers in muted mauves and blues and roses that appear to have been brushed on the cloth with watercolors. The details—buttons and bows, ruffles and stripes—look as if they’ve been drawn on with black ink. This tromp l’oeil illusion is so magnificent that afterward, you might think you’d dreamed it. Mary Poppins, eminently sensible and preferring to cultivate the same respect for rationality in others, might assure you that you did. This time, ignore her and trust your own eyes.

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