I didn’t think they could still do it.
Create a new and lilting, touching, charming, engrossing movie – for both young at heart adults and children — in the style of musical gems of my childhood.
I’ve watched disappointed, for example, so many fresh attempts at “new” versions of Anne of Green Gables… but in every one, the chief actors are consumed with trying to mimic Megan Follows’ most wonderful performance, right down to her inflections. So rare to find anyone who offers new facets or character or charm.
As the iconic Mary Poppins however, Emily Blunt shines both as the Mary we love and remember (“Spit, spot!” she is still commanding her charges… 🙂 ) while simply making the role truly her own.
I wondered about how they would do the music without the original Sherman brothers who penned so many of the movie songs that set our feet and hearts to dancing and singing long after each film (and added a delicious and super new word to our vocabulary!) Though the credits do show that one of the Shermans acted as musical consultant in this new film. Their music had such unique quality…
Well, though I think I might have to listen to this majestic new soundtrack (which I immediately want to go out and buy!) several times before I could sing them by heart, from the opening song to the last the music is just as lift-you-to-the-sky, carousel feel glorious!
I loved all the London architectural background, both in beautifully photographed scenes and in lovely painted portraits… The way the new story line, though still set in turn of century eras, draws you deeply into the grown up lives of Jane and Michael Banks on Cherry Tree Lane… The way certain scenes echo distantly of the original but add so much new delight… And most of all the way the “magic” remains sweet, endearing, with absolutely NO notes of overly high tech-y or darkness.
There is a joyous vibrancy and color and style to many scenes that made me think of lovely turn of the century English paintings, Gilbert and Sullivan, images I’ve seen of the Gibson Girl in her striped long dress… and simply lifted me into them. And as Michael says in one scene, he as a painter would love to capture the beauty suddenly burst on the world, this movie makes me want to do that too!!!!
Though I’d say the majority of actors are not well known, which really made this all the more fun, I happened to spot a few classic surprises in the Movie trailer on TV — so I was actively looking for them to appear… But maybe it is better if you simply let yourself fall into wonder and enjoy what you don’t expect… 🙂
I didn’t think they could do it. But OH… how they did!!
Somehow, I can just envision Walt Disney joining in on the exhilarating last scenes of the movie, a twinkle in his eyes, pride of legacy shining, lifting him to the blue-skied clouds in free abandon! For this one… this one… truly reflects the heart he created like no other musical film I’ve seen since he gave us the original.
Soooo…. Mark this one down for your Christmas joy and don’t let it zip on past you! Take the kiddoes, yes… but do expect a movie that speaks to your adult heart just as much! The clever characterizations, the beauty in sets and scenes and costumes, the heart in the story, they all just made me smile (and sometimes dab a tear). I can’t wait to go and see it again! 🙂
© Pam Depoyan
Image from “Mary Poppins Returns”