REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns is enchanting and will thrill a new generation of fans

PUBLISHED: 12:47 14 January 2019

Mary Poppins Returns is showing at Saffron Screen

Mary Poppins Returns is showing at Saffron Screen

Archant

Emily Blunt steps ably into the shoes of Julie Andrews for this sequel to the much loved 1964 classic, which sees magical nanny Mary Poppins return to help the Banks siblings through a difficult time.

Emily Blunt steps into the shoes of Julie Andrews for this sequel to the much loved 1964 classic, which sees magical nanny Mary Poppins return to help the Banks siblings through a difficult time.

Set in depression era London, decades after her original visit, the enigmatic Poppins returns to a now adult Michael and Jane Banks and Michael’s three children to help them deal with a family bereavement and rediscover the joy and wonder missing from their lives.

Chicago director Rob Marshall takes the helm working from a script he wrote with David Magee with songs composed by Scott Witman and Marc Shaiman.

And it is the strength of those songs which the success of the film really hinges upon. Following up the likes of A spoonful of sugar and Supercalifragilistic is a daunting job, yet by the end of first song Underneath the Lovely London Sky, it is clear we are in safe hands.

Hamilton creator Lin-ManuelMiranda takes the lead on that opening number and is perfectly cast as Poppin’s lamp lighter friend Jack.

The casting of Poppins herself is also crucial to the film and Emily Blunt is excellent in the role. She makes the character her own with a supremely confident take, something recognisable yet also quite different to that of Julie Andrew’s version.

Support comes in the form of Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer as Michael and Jane Banks while the child actors also hold their own among such esteemed company.

Colin Firth’s greedy bank manager makes for an extremely hiss-able bad guy, and Meryl Streep’s cameo as Poppins’ Russian cousin Topsy is one of the film’s stand out moments.

The wonderfully uplifting sight of Dick van dyke tap dancing on a table at the end rounds off the film in perfect fashion.

Mary Poppins Returns is an enchanting spectacle which will fill older viewers with warm feelings of nostalgia.

Despite the daunting task of following up such a classic, the film successfully recaptures that magic and will likely go on to thrill a whole new generation of fans.

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